Because of the housing market and the economy the way it is, safety seems to be a larger concern on everyone’s mind. Whether you’re working with a new Realtor, are selling your home, or generally want to feel safer in your home, these tips can help you out. Realtors need to protect themselves, too. So don’t be surprised if you are asked to show some ID. It helps protect everyone.
1. If you have a lockbox on your door, do not share the combination with anyone besides your Realtor. Don’t give it out to neighbors, service vendors or anyone else you’re not comfortable with. You never know if people will share the information with someone else.
2. If you’re a seller and will have showings and open houses while you’re gone, be sure to put away and lock up prescription medicine, any revealing information (credit card bills, Social Security cards, etc.), keys, mail, and private photos. Don’t just stack it on the counter or throw it in a drawer. Buyers tend to want to open closets, drawers, etc.
3. Always ask to see an ID of your Realtor prior to going into a home with them. On the same note, expect that they will ask for your ID when meeting for the first time. They want to make sure you are who you say you are, as well.
4. Take your own car for the first time when meeting with your agent. Until you feel comfortable with this new person, you won’t feel stuck being in the same car. Meet at the agent’s office the first time you get together. This is a neutral ground where you can see where the agent works and even meet some of his or her coworkers. This can be good in case the agent is out of town while you want to see a property. Then you’ll have met the coworkers ahead of time.
5. If you’re selling a home by owner and showing it to potential buyers, always get the buyer’s information first and schedule an appointment later. Make sure to get a name, address, and phone number. Don’t let anyone in who has just driven by. When they arrive, ask for ID and carry a phone with you throughout the home. This way you’ll have it in your hand in an emergency. Try to let a family member or neighbor know ahead of time that you’ll be showing your home at a certain time. This way they know what’s going on.
6. Don’t discuss security system information on your home with buyers or put any information like that on an advertising flier. It gives too much information. Likewise, don’t talk to buyers about your work schedule, how far you are from work, or your regular routine. This can alert people to when the home is empty.