PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Following the death Friday of a realtor in what police describe as a murder-suicide, real estate agents are offering condolences while raising awareness about their own safety.
Police say Albert Baglione, 84, told them “I shot my realtor” at a home on Bolling Road. When they arrived, they heard a gunshot and found both Baglione and realtor Soren Arn-Oelschlegel dead.
Sources tell 10 On Your Side Baglione had already signed a contract to purchase the home sight-unseen and was unhappy with it. It could have been the only face-to-face meeting between the two men, a final walk-through prior to when Baglione would have taken possession of the property.
Wendy Carbaugh is a realtor with 17 years of experience in Hampton Roads and said the community is in mourning.
“We feel sad for [Arn-Oelschlegel] and his entire family for what happened. Everything comes with risk,” she said in a Monday afternoon interview. “You are working with people you don’t know. You don’t know their families and their backgrounds.”
Like so many in that business, she’s now mourning the death of a colleague and concerned for her own safety. Whenever she’s alone with a client, she takes precautions.
She leaves the key in the front door and lets the client enter the home first.
“Because they can close the door, and if you’re walking in front of them they can close the door and lock it behind you, and then you’re trapped,” she explained.
Carbaugh keeps the front door keys in the door, and her car keys close at hand to trigger her car alarm if needed. She’ll tell people in her office where she’s going. When she goes upstairs while showing a home, she stays out of the bedrooms and lets the client explore.
“I’ll let them wander in each room and I’ll stand in the hallway,” she said, adding she won’t let herself get in a room with an unfamiliar client.
Carbaugh has a concealed carry permit. She hasn’t carried on the job — yet — but Arn-Oelschlegel’s death could very well change that.
“I haven’t felt that need yet,” she said.
However, she says she’s close to changing her mind and knows of other realtors who carry guns for protection.
The National Association of Realtors has advice for its members to remain safe when dealing with clients.