Real estate agents show properties throughout the day and constantly interact with strangers. Real Estate Ink, recommends that agents, clients, and prospective buyers alike always remain aware of their surroundings during open houses. We at Real Estate Ink put the customer first, and dedicate our efforts to finding you the ideal property while bearing safety issues in mind.
Follow these tips to stay safe during open houses and while viewing properties:
It’s an advantage to be with someone else you know during an open house, particularly in the evenings, because you’ll feel more comfortable and more able to keep an eye out for your seller when there are multiple potential buyers entering the home.
Knowing the accessible exits in a house helps agents formulate a plan for emergencies, and helps put clients at ease in the event of any safety trouble.
Remove Valuables and Prescription Drugs
Clients should never leave valuables in houses during open house days. In recent years, prescription drugs have become a particular target for those who may enter the open house without the best intentions. Remove or store away prescription medications and do not leave them in plain sight or in a medicine cabinet.
Test the Lockbox
Agents and clients should ensure the lockbox functions correctly, is secure, and that no one has interfered with it. This helps to avoid potential house break-ins. If the lockbox is open and the key is gone, do not enter. Alert the police immediately.
Ensure there are not lingering visitors on the property after an open house, and lock all windows, doors (including garage doors), and gates before leaving the house.
Meet the Neighbors
Agents should let the neighbors know when there will be showings. Neighbors then may be more inclined to alert agents and clients if they notice something unusual or troublesome during the open house.
Parking as close to the property as possible signals to potential burglars that someone is home.
Be Wary About Social Media
Stay cautious when sharing information online about the open house. Sharing too many details (such as the address and time), status updates on social media, and photos only increases the risk of a break-in.
Don’t be afraid to ask for Identification
Ask open house attendees to sign in, and if necessary, don’t be afraid to ask for identification. Always ask for identification prior to showing new customers that you have not previously met any homes for sale. Take a photo with your phone and text it to your office, your broker, or an emergency contact so that someone is aware of the people in your gathering. If a potential customer is not willing to provide identification, then take that as a red flag and do not show them any houses (and never put these customers in your car).