As we all know, safety and personal well-being are two of the most important aspects when doing almost anything. But is safety actually that important when we’re doing other important things, such as trying to sell our house? The simple answer is “yes.”
Today, we’re going to cover a few for sale by owner safety tips that will help you stay safe during your house selling process. Read on to explore the different ways for you, and your clients to ensure your safety.
1 – Get to know your clients
While we would always like to assume the best about people, sometimes it’s better to err on the side of caution, for your safety. For this reason, getting to know your clients before showings is important.
For Sale By Owner suggests a seller should, “Vet buyers before they visit. When a buyer makes contact with you, ask him or her to scan their driver’s license and email it to you along with their contact information and documents showing they are pre-qualified by a lender. Do a Google search so you know as much as possible about the buyer before scheduling a visit.”
This gives you the upper hand, and the chance to weed out potentially fake buyers, or buyers who are not pre-qualified.
2 – Be careful with the information you share
Another way that for sale by owner buyers are often compromised, is by putting too much personal information to the public. Not only does this give every random possible buyer access to all your information, but any ne’er-do-well now has your information and can potentially “sign you up” for all kinds of scammy things.
We would suggest having buyers contact you through your email. However, you shouldn’t use your personal email. Create a new email address specifically for selling your home. And when it comes time to talk with a buyer on the phone, have them send you their phone number.
And now it’s time for one of our secret for sale by owner safety tips: when dialing your buyer’s phone number, dial *67 before their number. This will hide your phone number, and make it show up as a private caller. Generally, this is the easiest way to make a call without giving out your phone number. If you do this, then you can rest assured that your phone number won’t fall into the wrong hands.
3 – Hide your valuables
This is undoubtedly one of the most important for sale by owner safety tips to remember, after your own personal safety. Hide or store away anything valuable, or important to you during your house selling process. Open houses, where there are too many people for you to keep track of, are a prime opportunity for thieves to move into action.
Thieves will look for items like jewelry, expensive electronics, small items of clothes, or anything else they can easily stick in a bag or pocket. These should all be stored away, or put somewhere during a showing. The trunk of your locked car is a great place to put things while you’re having a showing or open house.
4 – Be accountable
When we say be accountable, we’re not using the normal assumed definition of the word. We’re thinking of something a little different. When we say be accountable, we don’t only mean for you to be accountable, but for someone else to be accountable for you.
This is important when having open houses or showings. When possible, you should always have two or more people at a showing or open house. Having just one person at a showing makes that person more of a target. But when you can’t have anyone else with you, there is a great solution that we’re going to tell you about.
Give a friend or relative the list of people and showings, so that they know who is at your house, and when. Subsequently, after every showing call your friend to let them know you’re done, and everything went well. If you do these two things consistently, it will become a habit, which will make staying safe easier.
A few other safety measures to consider
Let’s talk for just a minute about a few other for sale by owner safety tips you should be keeping in mind. First, always park your car on the road, so you can easily leave in case of an emergency. If you’re blocked in by the buyer’s car, this poses a problem.
Secondly, follow your viewers around the house. Don’t ever lead them, but stand behind or off to the side, and direct them which way to go. Lastly, always carry a cellphone and/or alarm device with you. Be ready to call a friend or even dial 911 if something goes wrong.
The last of our for sale by owner safety tips – be ready for anything
Probably the most important of our for sale by owner safety tips we can give you is this: be alert, cautious and ready for anything. Real estate agent attacks are on the rise, so you can’t be too careful. When you’re selling a house for sale by owner, you are the real estate agent, so don’t take your job too lightly. And on a lighter note, take a look at three of our favorite for sale by owner listings for inspiration.