February 11th, 2016
It’s almost mid-February, and you know what that means? It’s almost time for the big Spring crush with lots of homes coming on the market.
So we need to have a quick reminder to real estate agents about how to stay safe. Real estate agents put themselves at risk because of the nature of their job.
Most commonly, real estate agents are victims of theft during open houses. What people don’t talk about are when the agent has to go visit a house they’re looking to list that may be abandoned but is in fact inhabited by squatters, a meth lab, or the prior owner. Or worse, there’s an abandoned pet that is aggressive.
So in today’s blog, we’ll look at the three important things an agent should do to stay safe during an open house.
Know where you’re going to be holding an open house so you can set the hours. You don’t have to worry about following standard hours if you don’t want to be there after dark.
Communicate with your office or with a partner where you’ll be. If you have some concerns (see the first item: trust your gut), have a signal where your partner can call so you have an excuse to leave. Or plan on regularly texting someone with your status and what’s going on.
Have a buddy that can hang out with you at the open house. This partner can also keep an eye on the people looking around the house to prevent theft.
We won’t go all Star Wars and say “Trust your feelings, Luke,” but the first indicator that something is wrong is usually a feeling in the pit of your stomach. The best thing you can do is trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t worry about insulting someone. Your safety is the most important thing.
If you feel like you’re not getting people in, and you have someone hanging out, close up the open house early.
When setting up for an open house or a viewing, look out for traffic if you set up signs. When making sure your sign can be seen from the road, it can get disorienting, and easy to step off a curb.
The same goes for picking up the signs. And be extra careful if it’s dark and you’re wearing dark clothing.
Take care of your safety first. It’s not worth getting hurt to go all out trying to sell a house.