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Why Realtors Should Take Extra Precaution When Showing Homes to Prospective Buyers

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 14 February 2018 14:50

Real Estate can be a very lucrative business, but also can be extremely dangerous at the same time.  Most people don’t think of real estate agents have having a dangerous profession, but there are factors to consider that will change your mind. Real estate attacks have been on the rise for the past decade.  It’s a profession that requires the agent to meet a stranger at an empty house.  The agent is vulnerable prey waiting for someone to show up that may be ready to violently attack the agent.

What steps can real estate agents take to protect themselves? It’s a best practice to invent the prospective buyer to your office before meeting at the house.  Take a photocopy of the prospect’s license and ask questions about why they are looking to move and which neighborhoods they’re interested in.  Additionally, it is also acceptable to ask for a pre-approval letter from the mortgage bank to make sure the buyer is serious and not a potential attacker.  Any prospects who aren’t potential attackers will willingly share their personal information and have their pre-qualification letter readily available.

It comes down to facts and good old intuition.  Think about the prospect’s willingness to share personal information with you before seeing the home in question.  Was he willing to show up at the office and discuss expectations with you?  Finally, if he seems shady or weird, it is recommended to take another agent with you. There’s nothing wrong with having an extra colleague tag along to help you show the house.  

People trust strangers way too much.  Don’t give credit to anyone and everyone.  There must be a system of checks and balances in place and without that you don’t know the potential dangers that lurk in your territory.  There has been way too many attacks and deaths of innocent agents who were just doing their jobs and thought their prospect was just another buyer, but who turned out to be violent criminal.

A lot of these attacks are motivated by money.  Many agents have been robbed of their money and jewelry during a routine house showing.  Imagine that. If you don’t vet out the prospect, a stranger, using a fictitious first name waltzes in and robs and beats you, gets into the car and drives off.  It’s both disturbing and scary.  

Other agents carry pepper spray on their person so they feel like they have a chance to defend themselves if ever in a predicament like that.  At the end of the day it’s about being smart about your safety.  Don’t get so excited about a potential house sale that you forget to protect yourself or conduct common sense moves.  Don’t drive to remote, desolate areas by yourself in the day or night.  Bring a buddy and remember to vet out your prospects.  Don’t trust strangers and don’t get comfortable thinking that because someone looks a certain way, that mean they are harmless. You can’t judge a book by its cover... ever.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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