As September ushers in back-to-school vibes and the excitement of football season, it’s also a pivotal time in the real estate world. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) designates September as REALTOR® Safety Month, shedding light on the importance of safety in the real estate profession. While being a REALTOR® is undoubtedly rewarding, it comes with its fair share of risks. This month is the opportune moment for real estate professionals to reevaluate their safety practices and procedures, but it also extends far beyond the realm of real estate professionals, applying equally to homebuyer and sellers.
First and foremost, safety in real estate begins at home, particularly when you’re listing your property. Once your home hits the market, it becomes a magnet for attention, drawing potential buyers, both online and in person. To ensure a secure showing experience, consider the following steps:
- Remove Personal Items: While it’s natural to have a sense of attachment to your home, it’s essential to depersonalize it for showings. Items like family photos, spare keys, prescription drugs, and personal mail should be tucked away or removed entirely to safeguard your privacy and security.
- Secure Valuables: Items of high value, such as firearms, jewelry, and cash, should be securely locked up or stored off-site during showings to prevent theft or mishaps.
- Protect Personal Information: Your mail may contain sensitive information, so it’s wise to ensure it’s not readily accessible to potential buyers. Identity theft is a real concern, so take precautions.
- Family Photos: While it’s heartwarming to display family photos, remember that they can be visible in online property listings. Consider temporarily removing them to maintain privacy.
- Home Security System: If you haven’t already, investing in a home security system can provide peace of mind. Video surveillance can capture any unusual activity during showings, and some systems allow remote monitoring. However, remember to inform your REALTOR® that you may be observing through these cameras to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Lock Up During Showings: Before showings, double-check that all doors and windows are locked. It’s a simple but effective step to maintain security.
Also keep in mind that if you have pets, you are responsible for them. Ideally, it’s best to have them removed from the home during showings to prevent any mishaps. Should your dog or cat pose a threat on potential buyers, you will be the one held liable.
Avoid conducting showings by yourself and rely on your real estate agent’s expertise. If someone unexpectedly knocks on your door, kindly guide them to contact your agent for a scheduled showing. It’s crucial to prioritize safety, as not all buyers may have genuine intentions. While the interest in your home is exciting, always take a moment to consider safety and make it a top priority. REALTOR® Safety Month serves as a vital reminder of the significance of security in the real estate profession. By taking proactive measures and staying informed, you can protect yourself, your property, and all those involved in the real estate process. Happy Sunday, everyone! Until next week.
Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President