It is a good idea to have a conversation with your sellers about safety when putting their home on the market – and share this reminder after it’s been online and exposed to the world. You are charged with attracting notice that the home is for sale, and unfortunately, that can lure a criminal element to the property. We’ve had a report from the Stockbridge area where two men are believed to have been “casing” a home multiple times, first during an open house and second when they mistakenly believed the home to be vacant. In the second instance, the seller noticed two men walking the perimeter of the property and confronted them – they thought quickly on their feet and told the seller that they had been trying to get an appointment to view the home but the Realtor wasn’t responding so they thought they’d look in the windows to see if it was a possibility.
They may have asked these seller to see the inside, but circumstances prevented the seller from escorting strangers into their home. Sellers, of course, find it hard to resist the lure of a potential sale, and immediately thought that their Realtor was responsible for the lost opportunity to show the home. The Realtor confirmed that they had never received a call (or even a hang up, based on caller ID on all phones) and the men were also identified as studying the house during an open house held earlier that week. When subsequent information came to light after the incident, the seller is now convinced that they were almost the victim of a crime.
- It is important that you share this story with your sellers so that they hesitate to ever open their door to strangers – explain the ‘vetting’ process you go through and the security measures you take when showing their home.
- You might also want to remind the seller that you are committed to selling their home and will do everything you can to make that happen – and you don’t ignore calls for showings when that’s your #1 job (and the only way you get paid)!
- Have your seller take extra safety precautions around the home. Have security systems engaged, signage indicating active system monitoring, lights on an off at different times, park a car in the driveway even if there is a garage. Make the home look lived in whenever possible.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!