It is the Realtor’s job to protect consumers in the real estate transaction. Seller, particularly, can be vulnerable as they allow strangers into their home to view their property.
An open house can be a great tool for marketing a home, but it also exposes Realtors and their sellers to unfamiliar people for the first time. Thieves and assailants have been known to prey on open houses. The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors cautions its members and their clients to be watchful of suspicious behavior.
Practicing safety measures is the smart thing to do. As Realtors celebrate Realtor Safety Month in September, they share the following tips to protect their clients against crime, especially at an open house.
Sellers should remember that strangers will be walking through their home during showings or open houses. Sellers should hide any valuables in a safe place, including prescription medications and alcohol, as well as personal information, such as bank statements that could be used for identity theft.
Realtors warn their clients that not all agents are who they say they are. If a stranger stops by a listing unannounced, the seller should ask the person to make an appointment with their Realtor. Sellers should never show a home without their Realtor present; nor should they let a stranger, including an unfamiliar real estate agent, into their home unannounced.
Sellers are responsible for their pets. If possible, animals should be removed during showings. If buyers and agents are attacked by an animal, the owner will be held liable.
At an open house, be alert to the pattern of visitors’ arrivals, especially near the end of showing hours. In some cases, the modus operandi of thieves is to show up in a group near the end of an open house and, while the supposed buyer distracts the Realtor and the seller, if present, the rest of the group walks through the house and steals valuables.
Inform a neighbor that your Realtor will be showing your home and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
When leaving a property after an open house or a showing, the Realtor should make sure that all doors and windows of the home are locked. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible points of entry, then return after the Realtor leaves.
While the Realtor will take all of the above safety precautions, their clients should know when they return home that they should immediately verify that all doors are locked and all valuables accounted for.
This article is part of the National Association of Realtors’ Realtor Safety Kit. Sources are the Nevada County Board of Realtors (CA) and Realty Times. For more ideas on how to protect your personal safety, visit NAR’s website at www.REALTOR.org/safety.
Original Source: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/09/28/realdeal/
Original Date: Sept 28 2018
Written By: Rose Meily