Safety During Your Open House


You finally snatch that one particular listing that you have been after for weeks. Now it is time to sell it. The listing is at an affordable price, so it should sell quickly. But the question is, how can you make the most money from the sale? You decide to hold an open house and try to get both sides of the deal. Everybody does it! Great, but let us not sacrifice safety for a sale.

There you are in an empty house waiting for strangers to arrive. Sounds a little dangerous doesn't it? It is, but what is there to do, it's part of the business. Well, what we can do is put ourselves in the safest position possible. Train yourself to think safety, or what would I do if..

First of all, the best approach is not to be in the home alone. Bring a husband or wife, friend, or partner. When you arrive at the house put a sign on the door: "Please ring the bell, one of us will assist you." whether you are alone or not! Lock the door, you don't want any surprises.

When answering the door, ask the person if they saw your "partner Joe" Outside. That way the potential buyer does not think you are alone. Make sure the homeowners didn't leave any valuables lying around, including watches, wallets, jewelry, also car keys..

When you first enter the house, look around for other exit doors or escape routes. Familiarize yourself with the home. Open a couple of windows, this way if you do call for help it will be easier to hear you. Surveys have shown that you will receive a better response if you yell "fire" rather than "help." People will be more inclined to investigate and get involved.

Before showings, check the whole house over, especially the kitchen. Put away any utensils that can inflict harm. If possible, let the buyer go into rooms first as you follow, so your exit is not blocked. Do not wear expensive or flashy jewelry, and keep' your pocketbook out of sight. Also, keep your car keys with you and have your car readily available. If you do not have a cell phone take along your desk phone from the office, or even your personal phone, and always' pretend to have it off the hook. The phone proves to be a good decoy if someone looks suspicious to you. All you have to do is pick it up and say, "I'll be right with you," to the caller, "hold on, I'll be with you in just a few moments." The idea is not to look as if you are isolated. Be prepared!

If at all possible do not go into basements! Blame it on your bad knee! Blame it on anything that will prove to be a good excuse The basement is and can be a dangerous place.

If you must attract attention because you feel threatened, don't be afraid to throw something through the window. This may seem extreme, but what's extreme, is your safety is threatened.

Finally, one last thing. If you are showing the listing to a group of people, ask that they all stay together, and enforce, that there no smoking while viewing the home. This removes any opportunity for someone to have a reason to break away from the group.

Be sure to have guest lists and disclosure forms. Have customers fill them out before showing the home, and require a form of identification. Someone posing as a buyer will likely be uncomfortable with this request. The extent of this information is not to alarm real estate professionals. It is to acknowledge that most professions have some element of danger. The best way to confront a problem is head it off, or prevent it before it even begins to happen.