Sellers need to keep their safety in mind when prospecting potential buyers. The real estate industry has seen a problematic climb in assaults towards realtors, and so is the concern for those who are selling their own homes.
Here are just seven ways designed specifically to protect you, your family, and your home, from being victimized:
1. Fully screen callers before allowing them an appointment for seeing your home. Ask all the questions: name, existing address, and telephone number. Where are they employed? Why are they looking to buy? Do they have a family in the area? Any children? Ask as many questions until you feel comfortable with this person.
2. Do not let unannounced visitors into your home unless you have their information first. If you are alone in the house, have them come back later when there are others home. There is no reason why someone cannot be professional and make an appointment with you. Make sure there is more than one person in your home when showing your property. Remember, safety in numbers.
3. If you must show your home alone keep a cell phone with you. If you are in danger of a potential buyer, you can easily call 911 for help. In the event in needing to get away from someone run out of the house into your vehicle or neighbor's house. Remember, your life is more important than any property. Most criminals interviewed say they do not want to harm anyone when taking valuables, prescription drugs or money. But if the home owner puts up a fight, so will they. Let it go. Property and things in your home can be replaced, your life cannot!
4. Tell your children, even if they are older to not let anyone in the house unless you are there. Even teenage children should not let anyone into the house. More assaults are committed on young people from the ages of 15- 25 years of age than any other age group.
5. Be very aware of virtual tours. If a virtual tour is an option for selling your home, make sure there are no expensive objects in the room(s). Criminals look for opportunities such as these to target homes to burglarize.
6. Let neighbors know you are selling your home. Check with them on a regular basis to see if anyone has been around the house when you are not there. Criminals will use an open house, or a walk-through to pose as a potential buyer to scope out properties to burglarize later.
7. Keeping the curb appeal not only adds value when you are selling a home, but adds to the safety of your home as well. After searching a home during an open house, criminals interviewed say they look for high bushes near windows, not well-lit areas of a home, and concealed entrances to come back and gain access to a home. Keep bushes trimmed low, repair or add higher wattage light bulbs to existing lights, and keep entrances well lit for theft prevention.
Don't hesitate. If you're serious about selling your home yourself, just make sure your safety plan is just as serious to protect you and your family's future.
Michelle Annese is a 3rd degree black belt with 15+ years experience teaching industry specific self defense and safety for women and children. She is author of ‘the Realtor Survival Guide”, ‘Protection for Women', and ‘The SafeGuard System for Kids'. For more information on how to protect yourself and your family go to http://www.michelleannese.com and check out other articles and sign up for a free safety tips e-newsletter.