Sharing advice from one of the leading industry experts on real estate safety.
Your home is where you should feel safe. When you’re in the process of selling that home, that feeling of safety doesn’t have to change. After all, whether you are selling your first home or your fifth, the process of letting strangers into your home can always be nerve-racking, but there are ways to mitigate that fear!
To learn about how home sellers can stay safe, we sat down with industry expert Tracey Hawkins, aka – “The Safety Lady.” We wanted to get some pointers to help home sellers feel safe when selling their homes both from a financial process perspective as well as their physical wellbeing. Knowing the necessary steps you need to take to keep your home safe can make all the difference in a successful home sale.
One: Hide Any Valuables or Items with Important Information
The first thing you should do as a seller before you host any showings is to take inventory of any valuables you may have in your home. Items such as jewelry, medications, and important paperwork should be taken out of the house or placed somewhere safe.
Even something as simple as family photos could be a safety issue if the wrong people come to view your home. If they see a photo of your happy family and a certificate for your child’s attendance award on the fridge, that means they know where your child goes to school and what they look like.
Two: Don’t Show Your Home Alone
Another important tip for any home seller is to make sure you don’t show your home alone. There’s always safety in numbers. If you’re giving a tour, invite another adult to help you show the home and accompany the buyer throughout the home. When meeting a prospective buyer for the first time, meet somewhere public where other people are present.
If there is any reason that you are alone with a buyer, make sure someone you trust knows where you are and who you’re with. Have an escape plan in case something does go wrong. Make sure you and anyone helping keep you safe are aware at all times.
Three: Don’t Let Strangers Into Your House
This may sound counterproductive, but it is important to be careful of who you let into your home. If you are conversing with buyers who want to tour the home, make sure it’s someone you want in your home.
Ask them for information such as employment information and a cell number. Speak to their former landlord and their work. Take advantage of the resources available to you online. Do a background check to make sure they don’t have a criminal history. Even with these things in mind, be sure to take additional safety precautions, just in case.
Four: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
It’s no secret that many home sellers decide to try and go out on their own when selling their property. However, it is worth noting that you don’t know what you don’t know. That means that it could be much easier for someone to take advantage of you and your lack of real estate knowledge to do you real harm.
This is by no means limited to the business of selling your home. It also knowing all of the necessary safety precautions you need so a prospective buyer doesn’t come back to potentially do you or your family harm. If you are having trouble feeling safe when selling your home, be sure to contact an agent as soon as possible. That way they can act as a buffer between you and the buyers.
Five: Hire a Real Estate Professional
The market we have seen over the last few years has been a little crazy. While on many levels it has favored sellers in terms of higher home prices and bidding war situations, those conditions also bring inherent risks for homeowners trying to sell on their own. Multiple offers can bring with them lots of contract negotiations and legalities, which has, more often than you might think, left sellers owing multiple commissions, or worse – inadvertently selling to more than one buyer without realizing it, landing them in some serious entanglements.
Plus, if you’re letting strangers into your home – an agent literally is the safest thing you can do. As we here at Power Headquarters like to say, “Hiring a real estate agent is like TSA for your family”. They screen anyone who comes into your home BEFORE they walk through your door to help keep you and yours safe.
From screening your showings, to qualifying who comes through your homes, to negotiating the best price and terms, to keeping an eye on your best interests both financially and from a safety standpoint, hiring a real estate agent is a safety net that is just smart for any seller.
EXTRA: Real Estate Agents Are Already on High Alert
Real Estate Agent safety has become more and more of a front-and-center skillset in recent years. Most companies, boards of REALTORS, and MLSs now offer training specific to all the fundamentals for keeping agents safe and helping them to keep their clients safe. That is a win for sellers and buyers who are
Tracey would like to share her valuable checklist: “13 Steps to Help Keep Your Family Safe and Protect Your Valuables While Your Home is on the Market.” Not only does the list include the tips listed here, but also additional ways to keep you and your family safe.
A big thank you to our friend and safety expert Tracey Hawkins for her valuable insight and extraordinary training. We are grateful to have had her help train agents in our industry to keep their communities safe. Please visit Tracey’s site for more information.
About Your Author Darryl Davis, CSP, Speaker, Coach, Author
Darryl has been spoken to, trained, and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a bestselling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. His real estate training system The Power Program®, proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Darryl is currently hosting weekly free webinars to help agents navigate the new real estate reality. Learn more at www.DarrylSpeaks.com/Online-Training.