What about safety?
NOTE: This is (or should be) a major concern for you. I’ve already mentioned who I’d recommend be home for showings….and I made that recommendation for safety reasons. Here are a few other ideas.
- CONFIRM all showings. If someone calls on the phone to see your home, check your caller ID if you have it…AND WRITE DOWN THE NUMBER!!!! While talking with the prospect, ask them for their phone number and also for their name. Ask where they currently live (you can ask this more casually, as if an afterthought). If they are serious buyers, they should not be reluctant to give you either. After you’ve made the appointment, CALL THEM BACK….you can say you just wanted to confirm that you’d written down the right time, or whatever. At least you’ll know the phone number is good.
- If someone comes to your door and wants to view your home AT THAT TIME, tell them you’d love to show it to them, but are unable to do so at the moment. Try again to get a name and phone number, and schedule your appointment. This gives you time to arrange to have someone with you when you show the home. Remember, you don’t know who you are letting in your home. Chances are it’s someone who is looking to buy a home…but you only have to listen to the evening news to know there is sufficient cause to exercise caution! And, an added benefit to having someone with you while you show the home is that you have one more person to assist you in keeping your prospects together…avoiding stragglers who might wander away for WHATEVER purpose.
- Keep a Guest Register (and pen) by your front door, and ask the people who come to view your home to sign it when they come in. Again, if they are serious buyers, they should not object to filling it out! After all, they are asking you to let them walk through your home….they should not be offended if you’d like to know WHO you let in! If you need something to use, I’ll be happy to provide it for you. Is it possible they might fill in phony information? Yes…maybe….but using it is still better than not using it!
- Try to stay close to the prospect…that’s harder if the prospect is a “couple”, a family, a group. If there is more than one person that you’d be showing the home to, kindly ask that “we all stay together while going through the home”….so you can be sure to answer any of their questions and point out the special features of the home. This can sometimes be a challenge, but it is important. If someone is trying to case a home, they often travel in pairs or small groups…one to keep the owner “occupied”, the other(s) to have privacy in checking out the house.
- NEVER leave valuables out in the open. I’d suggest putting them out of the house altogether while it’s on the market…perhaps your bank’s safety deposit box!
- Check your medicine cabinet, too! Oddly enough, some of the thefts are about the drugs in the home! Suggestion…find an alternate place to store your prescription medications!