Safety tips when showing your own home:
General Safety Advice:
- Keep windows, doors, garage and car locked! 99% of the time the perpetrator has not had to force entry, but simply entered thru an unlocked door.
- If a stranger approaches and requests to look at your home, refer them to your real estate agent. Under no circumstances open the door! A serious prospect will want to talk to the listing agent.
- Property should be shown by appointment only and well planned in advance by a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with.
- When property is shown do not leave items of value laying around or anything that would allow someone later entry such as a spare set of keys. Be alert and aware and look for signs that this prospect may not be what he/she appears to be.
- Avoid showing the property at night and alone.
- Make sure your locks are of high quality and secure.
- If a suspicious person approaches and is turned away, report the incident anyway.
- Don't advertise the property as being vacant!
If you are a For Sale By Owner:
- Always conduct open house with a partner or friend.
- Keep on the look out for behavioral patterns of house hunters that don't seem consistent with a bona fide home buyer.
- When showing your home stay behind the prospect and avoid closed spaces such as basement and attic areas.
- Dont use defense items such as pepper spray or weapon unless you are trained in its use; in many cases weapons end up being used against the victim.
- Pay attention to your neighborhood and look for signs of something unusual such as a strange vehicle or unfamiliar face.
- Don't park your car where it can be blocked.
Remember: educating and preparing yourself for an encounter is the
best way to avoid a dangerous situation!