While we don’t often think of real estate work as dangerous, it can be.
Selling your home – whether you’re downsizing, upsizing, or relocating – is an exciting time. It can also be nerve-racking: not only are you preparing for a move, but you’re also opening your home to strangers, who will likely view your home when you are not there. Luckily, your REALTOR® is in your corner, keeping you, your investment, and your possessions as safe as possible. For additional peace of mind, check out these safety tips…
Protecting Yourself & Your Home
• Always keep windows and doors locked.
• Be vigilant – never assume something won’t happen to you in your surroundings.
• Don’t let others into your property without a REALTOR® being present.
• Don’t show your home by yourself. Refer all inquiries to your REALTOR®.
• Ask to see proof of identity from Salespeople entering your property.
• When you return home after an open house or showing, verify that all doors are locked.
• Ensure there are no potential hazards that could make you liable if a visitor is injured.
Protecting Your Valuables
• Remove or lock up valuable portable electronics and password protect your computers.
• Remove or lock up other small valuable items, including prescription medications.
• Remove extra keys from the property.
• Remove pets from your property, so they don’t get loose or lost.
• Have a “go bag” of items that can’t be locked up to transfer to a safe location as needed.
• Avoid featuring expensive items in listing photographs of the property.
• When you return home after an open house or showing, ensure all valuables are safe.
• Google your address to ensure no one has posted a fake ad about your property.
• Don’t discuss your daily routine, future plans, or current location online.
• Don’t leave your passwords, mail our bills out in the open.
• Remove family photos to protect the identity of your loved ones.
Some additional tips:
1. Guard your lockbox . . . even from yourself.
Your REALTOR® will likely use a lockbox to keep the house keys safely accessible for viewings. You may want access to the lockbox, whether it’s to take the keys inside at the end of the day or even to use in the event that you forget your own keys. The reality is, the fewer people who know the lockbox code, the better. If you do have access to it, make sure to scramble the code each time you open it, and never give the passcode to anyone else, even fellow family members – you could face insurance issues if you do.
2. Scan the perimeter.
Once you return home after a day of viewings, do a quick scan of any entrances to your home – doors, windows, etc. Make sure that all of them are locked securely, in case someone left one open for access later on.
3. No REALTOR®? No entry.
You may have a sign on your front lawn that advertises your house is for sale, but that doesn’t mean it’s an open invitation for strangers to stop by the house. If someone comes to your property and says they’re interested in buying, give them your REALTOR®’s number to call. Never, ever let someone in and show your property without your real estate professional present.
4. Use caution with email.
You have to keep safe online, too. Scammers have grown increasingly savvy in impersonating people you may have in your contacts list. So, if you get a suspicious email or text message from your brokerage asking for personal information, financial details, or anything else you wouldn’t normally give over email, follow up using your REALTOR®’s known phone number to make sure it’s legitimate.
Let your REALTOR® know about any safety concerns you might be anxious about. They’re there to keep you safe and make the selling process as comfortable as possible, and can address your concerns accordingly.
Trust your instincts. You should always listen to what your senses tell you. You should also be aware of your surroundings.