Q&A Section

Remember Your Safety First…

When an owner decides to sell his home himself, he’s in for a lot of work. He has to talk to interested buyers and schedule showings before he even gets to negotiations and contracts. More frightening is that the seller has to open his door to people he doesn’t know. In today’s world, that’s scary.

The homeowner is definitely taking a risk by inviting strangers into his home. He has to be extremely cautious of who’s looking at his home. There’s a safety factor involved when marketing your home. A word of caution to homeowners wanting to sell is to be extremely careful, because plenty of Realtors have been attacked, raped and killed in the home selling business.

When there’s a For Sale By Owner sign in your yard, and someone stops and rings the doorbell, you need to be prepared. There are precautions you should take to maintain safety for you and your family. In our society, people are usually afraid to ask questions because they don’t want to offend the other person. “When it concerns safety, you’re the number one concern,” explains Eddie Edwards, crime prevention officer with a Dallas / Fort Worth area police department.

“Before you let that person go through your house, get some information. Get the driver’s license number and a couple of references. Then schedule a time when they can come back and look. This gives you time to check out the prospective buyer,” says Edwards.

“You need to put the information about the person in a safe place so if something happens, the police have a lead on a suspect,” he explains. “Explain to the lookers that you need information for your safety. If the buyers will not provide the information, then don’t show the home.”

It’s also recommended that the homeowner ask for a pre-approval letter by fax or email before the showing. Here again, check the information on the letter. Call the mortgage company and ask questions.

Once you’ve checked references, and you’re showing someone around your house, don’t let your guard down. Listen to the type of questions asked. For instance, “Do you have a safe? Do you have a security system?” If they’re off-the-wall questions, then tell the person you have another appointment and show them to the door.

During the selling process, Edwards advises home owners to call the police if there’s a concern about your property. “If there’s a window partially opened, or a screen laying on the ground, something out of the ordinary, just call us. Even if you just feel uneasy, just call. We’re out there on the streets all the time, and that’s what we do — keep people safe.”

With all the work it takes to sell your home successfully, don’t take chances with your safety. Opening your door to a criminal is the last thing you need.