The Safety Talk That You and Your Realtor Must Have
It’s not just for you, its also for your Realtor. Too many real estate professionals omit from their discussions with home sellers and buyers. It is very important that both of you are kept safe when meeting new clients during showings and open houses. You should make your home is burglarproof when it’s on the market and that your belongings are kept safe. Real estate agents just aren’t talking about this like they should. Remember that it isn’t their home, so they don’t have as much incentive to watch your things 24/7, but it also isn’t their responsibility.
You should put away certain items during showings like prescription medications and gaming systems. Be sure to check the adequacy of the home’s lighting and door locks. Safety is an important conversation to have with your agent prior to viewing homes for sale, particularly when it is a vacant home.
A growing number of real estate professionals are reporting theft of prescription drugs from sellers’ homes during open houses. You should remove all valuables include everything from the mail left on the countertops (which may contain personal information and bank statements) to such items as jewelry, artwork, cellphones, and gaming systems.
Before you leave the house for a showing, you are responsible for walking through the house and making sure everything of value is out of sight. Sellers are often told to remove their family photos from their home for staging purposes. While this is true, the more important reason is safety. If the locks are broken, or wiggly, you can always call a locksmith. You can purchase them yourself at places like Home Depot, and then have the locksmith install, if you’d prefer to choose your own over the basic ones.
If sellers keep valuables out and prescription medications out in the open during showings, you may find yourself in that potentially dangerous situation of having a criminal in your midst and being unsure what to do. In those cases, do nothing, as the person is a criminal and they could attack or assault you if you confront them.
Your realtor may have concerns over the safety of a neighborhood, and the buyers might express concerns of their own. Your realtor doesn’t want them to avoid certain communities, but they can tell them the importance of educating themselves about neighborhoods. Perhaps by telling the buyer to drive by the property at different times of the day to get a better sense of the neighborhood for themselves and to talk to neighbors.
Also, homes that have been vacant may have maintenance issues. Buyers and agents may need to watch their footing as they tour the house, navigating away from any loose floorboards, steering clear of a rotted deck, and avoiding loose railings. Loose gutters or lighting fixtures may pose added dangers. Sellers forget how important safety is when selling a home. They assume that since they have an agent, and the agent is taking care of everything by selling their home for them, that agent isn’t responsible for you and/or your family’s well being.
For further information to arm you with more facts, read Real Estate’s 6 Most Dangerous Everyday Situations, and this video on Listing Presentation Open House and Showing Safety