NORTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Real-estate agents are trying find new ways to combat squatters they say are devaluing their properties.  Our CBS13 crew got a firsthand look as they discovered squatters staying in an empty home.

Re/Max real-estate agent Zack Alber toured the crew through a property on Thursday.

Just a few feet into the house, there were signs that someone had been living inside of the home. One of the squatters attempts to hide from our crew in the kitchen. Seeing the camera, they are quick to leave.

“I usually don’t go by myself, I come with a group of people,” Alber said.

Before entering the house, Alber offered to grab the nightstick he carries in his car to protect himself and the property. He’s been finding new ways to keep the squatters out.

“Sometimes we have security guards that sit in patrol cars at night so nobody breaks in,” he said.  It’s a big expense that real-estate agents weigh against the value of the home.

John Franks has been homeless for more than a year. We found him in the backyard with a loofah and some soap.  “I will not go inside a property,”  he said.  He says he just wanted to use the faucet and wash up and avoids going inside so he won’t get into trouble.

As we leave, Alber locks up the property, although it probably doesn’t matter.  “They’re gonna get in,” he said. (A few hours later, the squatters were back in the house).

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