Property Crime in Salem/Keizer

Criminal Targets Vacant Properties… Is Yours Included?

One of our Members got quite a surprise recently when removing a lockbox from a newly sold listing…the vacant property was being occupied by a squatter. The property had been trashed, and police also found a hand-written “manifesto” of other listed properties – most of them vacant – which may represent future targets. (The listing brokers have been contacted.)

WVMLS Members are urged to check on their vacant listings. And check them often!

It’s important to note that these situations must be handled carefully.  Get the police involved immediately!

Here’s a comment about “squatters rights” by one of our brokers:

“If a notice to evict or an FED is served then it could take months to get them out.  This requires a civil process involving the courts. [if you find someone has illegally entered your listing] …The police must be called immediately and charges pressed by the owner for breaking and entering.  The police will then notify the squatter that they have to be out in 15 minutes.  The owner must then move all the personal belongings to a storage unit and the offending squatter have a time frame to get their belongings from the storage unit.”

WVMLS’s Mobile App – Drawing Tool Search

The Goomzee Mobile App just keeps getting better!  Here’s how to use its “Draw Mode” for flexible searches

Our mobile search app allows you to draw on the map to select a specific area, or two.  When in the map view, tap on the draw icon:



Android Phones

Android Phones







Circle 1 or 2 areas, then tap “apply”:

draw mode goomzeeYou can look at the listings on the map, in list view or gallery view.  To cancel drawn areas, simply go to the map and select “cancel” (next to “apply”).




Don’t have our mobile app yet? iOS users go to your App Store. Android-ers, it’s in the Google Play Store!  Just search for the free “Goomzee” app!

Squatter at Vacant Listing

Guest Blogger:  Wendi Melcher, Heritage NW Sweet Home
Attn all Realtors. This is a first for me in 15 years. I had the police call me yesterday to have me come open up one of my vacant houses. There was a man inside who has taken over. He destroyed the house with smoking pot and bringing in garbage and broke the lights out and took paint from garage and threw it all over over the house. He had only been there two days since we had just showed it and winterized it.

I am asking that you take the time to check on your empty homes and to please make sure you take someone with you. As the weather changes and those who don’t seem to care and have no regards for other people are going to make themselves at home in our properties that we have for sale.

This was on Long street in Sweet Home right by the High School and he didn’t care. Might take the time to go around to the neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out for you too especially the vacant houses. I just wanted everyone to be aware and hopefully this won’t happen to any of you. The police in Sweet Home are doing a great job of keeping on eye on things but cant be everywhere all the time.

Wendi Melcher
Heritage NW SH

Improve Your WVMLS Photos!

Improve your Photos! Paragon can handle large, high-quality images. So why are some real estate pictures, um, well, less-than- awesome?   Here are some tips to improve your pics and sell your listing faster!


Copied thumbnail - not-so-good

Copied thumbnail – not-so-good

1)      Don’t copy thumbnails or small images to your listing! Bigger is definitely better.
2)      If using a resizing utility, choose “Large” for file size, not “Small”

Fill up the frame!

Fill up the frame!

3)      Save original, high-quality images to a drive and use COPIES of your edited, resized images (see below) as well. That way you can always go back to your untouched hi-res original.

1)      If you have a newer smartphone with lots of megapixels, you may be able to get good shots, but good digital cameras affordable and offer lots of options.
2)      Stage your shots. Use a pro or DIY. No fridge magnets or toilet-bowl scenes, please!

1)      Light, light, light. Specifically natural light if available. The exception? Take the exterior photo on an overcast (not gloomy) day so the sun doesn’t cast weird shadows.
2)      Shoot from corner or doorway to get a better angles and show depth.
3)      Wide-angle can cause your photos to seem stretched or misrepresent the space, so stick with standard, landscape-oriented photos (unless you’re an expert.)

After the Shoot
1)      If you took plenty of images, you’ll have more choices…pick the ones that best represent the home.
2)      Brighten, straighten and/or rotate shots that need a little tweaking.
3)      Do NOT get fancy and crop out things like power lines, foundation cracks or the house next door…remember, WVMLS photos need to accurate representations of the property and avoid exaggeration or misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts!

Final Tips
1)      Get ‘em up quick! WVMLS has an auto-email system that matches buyers up with their search criteria as provided by their broker. So when a listing hits…FLASH…it goes out by email to potential buyers. Don’t let it go without pictures! (WVMLS requires pics within 4 days of the listing, but can you really afford to wait that long?)
2)      Become a photography student. With the advent of digital cameras, there’s been a huge surge of interest in and information about photography. Google and YouTube are great resources to continually improve your skills, and therefore, improve your business and better serve your clients!

Mobile App Tip – Refine Your Search

“Refine” Button

Did you know you can use the “refine” button to fine-tune previous search results on the mobile app?

For example, after creating a new search for condos, within 2 miles of your location, you view the results.  You decide to limit the results to condos priced from $200K-250K.  Tap the “refine” button and select the list price, $200K-250K, set, and search.  Your results now reflect condos in the specific price range only. GoomzeeRefine

What? You don’t have the Mobile App yet? What are you waiting for? Go to App Center (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and look for “Goomzee”