During the past year across the country there have been reports of agent’s being harmed and even murdered at open houses or at showing’s of properties. The expectation from consumers that they can see a sign in front of a property, then call the number and have an agent run over to show the property is something that has to change. For our safety we need to know who we are meeting, that the individual is qualified to purchase real estate and that they are who they say they are.
This applies to seller’s as well. Seller’s who are letting individuals into their homes through showing with agents and during Open Houses. The following is from this month’s issue of Realtor Magazine which is published by the National Association of Realtors. I would add several items to this list, first no pictures of a child’s bedroom, no floor plans showing where the bedrooms are and no advertising any details of a property on Craig’s List.
“Physical harm is a major concern, but theft is also an issue. Touring properties is a trust-based action. Agents can do their best to make sure they know whom they’re dealing with, but they can’t weed out all the bad apples. To help, the NAR has developed the following guidelines for sellers:
- Stow away valuables. During showings, sellers cannot always depend on the agent to watch every move a client makes. Be sure to safeguard all jewelry, prescription drugs, and small poachable items.
- Remove family photos. Agents have often told sellers to do this as a way to allow potential buyers to envision themselves in the house. It’s now a safety concern. What if a pedophile is the buyer prospect and he’s checking out pictures of your children?
- Do not allow unscheduled showings. With mobile listings, people know when your house is on the market. It’s not unusual for prospective buyers to ring your doorbell and ask to see your house. Don’t let them in. All showings should be coordinated with your listing agent.
- Before leaving the house for a showing, turn on all the lights. This way, both the agent and the prospective buyer are safe while touring the home. It would also prevent burglars from taking advantage of dark corners.”
Better safe than sorry and there is no reason to take any chances.