I had one of my agents call me today very shaken. Apparently she was showing a vacant house and came upon a homeless person occupying the house. I wanted to share these safety tips, as this could have been anyone of us. Luckily, my agent and friend was able to get out of the house without harm.
5 Important Safety Tips When Showing a House
1. Cell phone -Always have your cell phone with you when showing a house. Program a few emergency numbers in the speed dial of your cell phone. This could save your life.
2. Listen to your Gut. If you don't feel comfortable escorting an unknown person into the basement or a vacant home don't do it. Open the door and let him/her go by themselves, simply saying feel free to tour the home, I'll answer questions when you're done.
If you are showing a vacant house, and you notice that the house is not secure, don't go in. Let the listing agent know that the house is no longer secure. Call the police if it appears as those there is a squatter.
3. Use the buddy system. If you are meeting someone for the first time and you're uncomfortable or have a bad feeling either skip the meeting all together or take someone with you. Try to meet all clients at the office first. Get a copy of their license if possible.
4. Be proactive. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Look people in the eye when you meet them. Carry your keys threaded through your fingers (like brass knuckles). Always let the buyer enter the room first. Make sure there are no obstacles between you and the exit. Take a self defense class.
5. Use common sense. Stay out of questionable neighborhoods after dark. Keep your gas tank filled. Take your own car to all showings. Be careful of how you dress and keep jewelry to a minimum. Don't flash wads of cash around. Let someone know where you're going and when you are expected back. Have an emergency code with your office and/or your loved ones.
Pam Crawford, ABR,e-PRO®,CRS,CDPE,LMC
Owner, REALTOR®, Managing Partner, MBA, BSBA
RE/MAX Professional Associates
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