I hope these tips help you to stay safer if attempting to sell your own home. I hand these tips out to FSBO's on a printed sheet and many people will comment "Wow! I never thought of that." We all want to believe that people have good intentions and for the most part they probably do. BUT there is always that chance that the bad guy will show up at your door and put you at risk. Many Realtors, some I have met personally, have been in very frightening situations. I went to see a Realtor speak at our local board about her terrifying ordeal while alone at an open house. That Realtor fortunately made it out with minor injuries and was brave enough to stand up and tell her story so that the rest of us might be safer from her experience. Just exercise caution with all strangers, they may think you are being extreme, but if they are TRULY interested in your property they will abide by your terms. Each Realtor may have their own safety plan in place. Usually we qualify the client before we agree to meet them or take them out to view homes.
- Do not set an appointment with anyone unless they have given you their name, phone number and address AND call that number to verify.
- Do not let them know your schedule, when you won't be home to show, etc.
- If you allow strangers into your home, do so during daylight hours and have a spouse, friend, neighbor, etc. accompany you.
- Do not allow two or more people to split apart so that you can't see all parties.
- Put away all valuables, ESPECIALLY jewelry, money, etc.
- Be conscious of safety when selling on your own. If your intuition tells you something does not feel right, trust that feeling it's not a good idea to ignore it.
- ALWAYS remove any prescription drugs from view. There is more than one story about people going into homes to raid medicine cabinets. Even better make an excuse if asked to use your restroom as hard as this may be for you to do. Such as: "I'm so sorry but I'm right in the middle of cleaning" or "I'm sorry I just mopped the floor and it's still drying." SAFETY FIRST
- Watch out for identity theft! Put away all personal information sources including mail, checkbooks, items pinned on your fridge.
- Keep a cell phone with you while showing your home.
- NEVER be in a position where you are not by an exit door. Let the client walk into the room while you stand at the door and observe. I think this one is very important!
Good luck with selling your home. Just remember to treat anyone that comes to your door as you would any stranger, use caution, take charge and never be afraid to deny someone access to your home. As much as you want to sell your home it's best to follow some of these steps.