Open houses are an essential aspect of selling homes, but they can also be potentially dangerous situations. By opening a home up to possible buyers, you are also inviting strangers into your home, and they may not always be there for the right reasons. This is why it’s important to take your safety seriously when organizing and hosting an open house by taking some precautions.
It’s always best to have at least one other person in the house who is showing the home with you. Not only will this make it easier to ensure that everyone who comes to see the property has their questions answered in a timely manner, it will also greatly increase your safety.
Be sure to check on each other frequently and keep an eye out for anyone behaving strangely. Communicate potential issues quickly and watch each other’s backs.
Before opening the home, ensure your cell phone has a strong signal and full battery, and program emergency numbers into the speed dial. Keeping this phone close at hand at all times is the best way to ensure you can quickly call for help in any situation.
Check every room of the house with your family or a friend to ensure the windows are locked. Often robbers don’t steal things at the open house- they unlock windows to come back later. Check once again at the end of the day to ensure that all windows are still secure, and do another careful walk through to ensure everybody has left the property.
Having a guest book and encouraging guests to use it when they enter is a great way of keeping track of who has come to view the property, as well as providing them with important information down the road. Ask for their full name, phone number, email address, and what type of property they are looking for in order to ensure they are there for the right reason.
Arrange with your partner or another family member or friend a check-in every hour or so. Tell them that you will call and, if they do not hear from you, they should call you. Be sure to keep one eye on the clock so you don’t worry them needlessly!
Not only is it polite to inform the neighbors that there might be a number of people hanging around the property, it’s also a good safety measure. Ask them to keep an eye on the property and watch for anyone behaving oddly.
When showing prospects around the home, it is much safer to walk behind them and direct them rather than walking in front and leading. Use directives such as, “The master bedroom is on the right,” and gesture for them to enter first. Avoid entering cramped spaces such as basements, small rooms, or closets.