NAR has designated September as Realtor Safety Month. There’s no time like the present for some safety tips.
Most of us will hold an open house at one time or another, so it’s a good idea to follow some safety guidelines so we don’t become a victim of crime.
Open houses are a great way to meet new buyers and expose your listing to the public, but they can be a target for criminals.
Here are 10 Tips for Holding a Safe Open house:
1. If possible, have at lease one other person working with you at the open house.
2. Check the strength, signal and the battery life of your cell phone before the open house.
3. Upon entering the house, check all rooms and select several “escape ” routes.
4. Make sure that escape routes through the back door do not prohibit your escape from the back yard. Make sure there are no high fences or locked gates.
5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email.
6. When showing a house, try to walk behind them or along side of them.
7. Avoid getting cornered or trapped in small rooms, etc. Do not let a visitor distract you while someone else is in the house.
8. Inform a neighbor of the open house and make sure your office, family or friend are aware of your open house and check in with them frequently.
9. Tell the owners not to leave any drugs, jewelry or valuables out.
10. At the end of an open house, check all the rooms and yard before leaving. Close all windows and lock all doors. Be aware of your surroundings and be careful getting into your car.
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Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600