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Real estate agent discovers drunk couple passed out in Florida listing

Broken glass photo by Quinn Dombrowski.

Rough day for a Realtor

Realtors have to content with some very unique challenges in their line of work ranging from odd requests to calls in the middle of the night, but finding drunk people inside a listing isn’t the industry standard.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, homeless couple David Allen Sharp and Linda McGuinness broke into a Florida listing, drank heavily and passed out. Local police report that they pried open the back door and snuck into the house.

The Pasco County Sherrif’s Office says the couple drank heavily, broke beer bottles on the floor and reports conflict regarding whether they fell asleep or passed out

The listing agent checked the house Wednesday evening and found the couple still sleeping and called the police who booked the couple on charges of burglary with bail set and unmet at $10,000 each.

Realtor beware

Real estate professionals enter various situations, often alone, that require heightened senses. In this case, the Realtor was lucky in that the couple was not doing hard drugs and had passed out instead of gone on a destruction binge. The agent is lucky they didn’t walk in on something dangerous or get ambushed.

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Short sales, foreclosures and houses that have been vacant for some time present a particularly daunting challenge and agents must be alert.

Agents are using technologies in increasing numbers to aide when intuition and gut feelings aren’t enough. AGBeat advertisers who we have featured for quite some time, seek to empower agents with smartphone apps as personal safety devices, and agents often opt to take self defense courses.

Regardless of the method, we encourage all real estate professionals to put serious thought into their backup plans for when their safety is at risk. Fortunately, the listing agent in this story was safe, but it could have gone a completely different direction.

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Joe Loomer

    July 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I used to just be worried about dogs, but now you never know what you'll find. I'm about the loudest dude I can be when I enter a vacant listing, and I carry a decent size can of can't-tell-you-where-I-got-it spray on my belt, too.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Christine Bacon

    July 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Oh, brother… Hopefully these folks stay in the bar next time they decide to go drinking. A "For Sale" sign outside doesn't mean "Come On In"!

  3. Lloyd Purse

    July 18, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Thanks for the post, Tara! You really never know what will surprise you inside a client's house – just hoping that it's a funny or harmless scene. Realtors should take this caution and protect themselves.

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