What safety precautions do you take when doing open houses?

Concerning the agent who was shot while holding an open house, what precautions do you take?

  • April 26 2011 - Vancouver
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for coryescott

Common sense rules when holding an "Open house".

Remove all valuables from the property. Take them off site preferably in a safe deposit box. Don't just put them in a drawer.

Make sure there are two people in the property at all times. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you. Only one of you need conduct the viewing.

Keep blinds and curtains open during viewings this allows people outside to see in to the property and will potentially deter somebody thinking of getting up to no good.

  • May 09 2011
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I have had a great deal of success in getting offers on homes by holding them open. As a male I still give a bit of thought to the open house issue. I always get to know the property and have either the back door or garage door unlocked so that I have more than one way out if something should happen. If a client is giving off a strange vibe, I will call my partner or someone in our office and let them know, I will stay on the phone with them until the client leaves. You can answer any questions, while still being on the phone. Also I make sure my car keys are in my pocket and shoes stay on. Never lead the way into rooms or stairs. Always ask the client to go first and stay back out of arms reach.

This is becoming an issue and I suppose that at some point the risk will out weight the benefits, but I'm not there quite yet.
  • April 27 2011
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I do not hold open houses alone, unless my husband/partner is also in attendance or at least very close by. There are other advantages besides safety in doing it in teams - often more than one party wants to see the home simultaneously, or one party will have individuals that split up into different sections of the home.

Comprehensive marketing and the MLS are much more effective tools than sitting around all day hoping someone besides the nosy next door neighbor who wants to see what the sellers have in their medicine cabinet comes through the door. If a seller really wants it we provide that service happily, but we make it clear that the odds that it will produce a buyer aren't really that great compared to other methods.

As wetdawgs has suggested, it may be even more risky to drive strangers around in your car. However, I can't remember one instance in the last several years where I drove someone around without knowing very well who they were first, and sharing that info with my husband. You can find a tremendous amount of info about people online these days, and it would be a huge red flag to me if they had no online presence.
  • April 26 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
As many Realtors claim that open houses don't sell homes, perhaps just skip the open houses.    I suspect it is easier to have protection with an open house that touring a client in your car and hitting many different houses.

I would not use an agent who chose to carry a gun. 
  • April 26 2011
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Profile picture for amandathomas
Bonnie, the old adage 'safety in numbers' comes to mind! It is smart to have at least one other professional individual present at the open house to work alongside you. Many times, a mortgage broker or colleague from your office will be willing to help 'host.' Advise your sellers to lock up small possessions, and keep the open house window short (e.g. 2 hours). Many Realtors in Texas are also concealed carry licensed for added safety. Think defensively... when hosting an open house, have a response plan in mind for how any situation might be handled. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst. Know where exits and phones are should you need to escape or call for help. Do you have any additional thoughts or recommendations you can share with us?
  • April 26 2011
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