It’s important for real estate agents to remember to stay safe in every possible situation. But what about clients? They too face potential dangers, whether as buyers, when visiting properties for sale, or as sellers, when strangers visit their listed home.
When you’re meeting with potential clients about a listing, talk with them about the safety and security of their home and how to keep their belongings safe while the home is on the market. Providing clients with a safety plan handout, including tips like these, can help set you apart from other agents they have met with. Helping them to learn to protect themselves and keep their home safe is not only important for their safety but for yours, too.
Lock up prescription drugs
Remove or lock up all prescription drugs in the home prior to any showings or open house events.
Remove family photos
For home staging it’s nice to give a house a “homey” look, but without knowing who might be walking around the rooms in the home, it’s best to remove all pictures of actual family members to protect them from possible predators.
Make a listing safe for buyers and agents
- Keep all lights on during showings and show the home only during daylight hours if possible.
- Fix or secure any potential hazards in the home, like loose floorboards or carpeting, otherwise if someone trips or falls in the home, the homeowner could be liable.
- Remove or lock up all weapons including guns, and also not-so-obvious potential weapons such as a block of knives on the kitchen counter.
Keep the house securely locked
A home on the market can attract intruders. Keep doors locked at all times and install deadbolts as well as bars and extra locks on sliding glass doors. Check windows to make sure they are securely locked before and after a showing or open house.
Beware of unexpected visitors
Home sellers may get unexpected visitors who ask to see the home. Because all showings will be scheduled only through the real estate agent, do not let strangers in, even if someone shows up at the door with a business card!
Stow away valuables
Valuables include everything from mail (which may contain personal information) to items such as jewelry, expensive art, computers, and other portable electronic devices. Make sure anything of value is out of sight!
Give Fido a vacation
Even the nicest pets can feel nervous or threatened when strangers invade their territory, so if possible, pets should be kenneled or safely confined during showings. If a potential buyer or agent were attacked by a pet, the homeowners could be held liable.
Vacant homes on the market
If the home is going to be vacant, do not publicize the fact, especially on social media, as vacant listings can attract nefarious characters. Keep the home staged if possible, stop mail and newspapers from piling up, and put the lights on timers to give the home a lived-in look.