A Virginia real estate agent is facing a long recovery after a vicious attack at an open house over the weekend sent her to the hospital for three days.
Keller Williams agent Lenora Farrington was showing a home in Huddleston on Saturday when she was attacked by a man wielding a heavy, foot-long wrench, according to Inman.
The assailant hit Huddleston over the head 10 times, according to Farrington’s friend Kathryn Bishop. Dustin Holdren was later arrested and charged with aggravated malicious wounding, authorities said. It is unclear what motivated the attack.
Farrington was hospitalized with several skull fractures and other head injuries and was released Tuesday. Farrington’s boss at Keller Williams, Teresa Grant, set up a fundraiser that had raised more than $145,000 for Farrington as of Wednesday morning.
Bishop said that she faces a lengthy recuperation, both physically and psychologically.
Showing homes can put agents at risk. On Dec. 31 Minneapolis agent Monique Baugh, 28, was abducted and shot to death upon meeting someone for a showing. Authorities believe the crime was orchestrated by someone associated with her boyfriend, who was shot elsewhere at the same time. Two arrests were made.
Farrington is far from the first agent to be attacked during an open house, a practice that some in the industry say is inherently dangerous for agents.
Last year a man attacked a female agent at an open house in Encino, California.
Shortly after the attack, the Roanaoke Valley Association of Realtors advised members to temporarily suspend open houses.
The organization’s president, Walter Grewe, said the group encourages agents to pre-screen open house attendants, but that many prospective homebuyers aren’t keen on that.
“Competition for these homes is unprecedented,” he said. “It’s hard to say ‘I need you to come into the office so that I can get a copy of your driver’s license before I show you houses.’” [Inman] — Dennis Lynch