March 11th, 2016
For the third installment of our real estate agent safety series, we’ll focus is on showing properties alone. We touched on this in our prior post on open house safety. Today we’ll go more in depth and include touring the homes. This is standard practice for real estate agents, but things can go wrong. It is important to remember that safety precautions could one day save your life.
There's always strength in numbers. Whether you bring a coworker, spouse, or even your German shepherd, avoid going alone. You can also have a coworker pop by the place while you’re there to do a check under the guise that they were evaluating the place for one of their clients.
Keep your cell phone with you at all times. Before you bring a client to the house, pop by and ensure you have service coverage in that area. If not, bring someone else with you. Have your purse locked in your trunk. Keep your keys with you. If you drove separately, make sure your car is parked where it cannot be blocked in such as in the driveway.
Avoid basements and attics as it's too easy to become trapped. Instead, know the selling points of these rooms and remain in the foyer on the first floor with the front door open as the buyer tours these areas, an agent suggests. If you must join them in each room, always stay by the door, leaving doors open so you can flee more easily if necessary, the Washington Real Estate Safety Council
Let potential buyers take the lead when exploring a home, with you always following behind. Stay in the doorway of a room and let them explore.
Tell your partner or the office where you are going, when you will be back, and who you're with. This is why we recommended that you first meet someone in your office so you can get their personal information and have them see you telling the office where you’re going.
If you feel uncomfortable, tell the person your "cell phone or beeper went off and I have to call the office" or "another agent with buyers is on his way," suggests the Washington Real Estate Safety Council in their tip sheets. Read agents’ personal stories of getting out of a situation like this.