No one can ever dispute that the original Saturday Night Live was really the best! Nothing compares to John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd doing the Bass-o-Matic or Gilda Ratner being Lisa Lupner. But one skit from the golden oldies that relates to Real Estate is Shark at the Door! Chevy Chase was brilliant at fumbling the names and somehow always managing to get the girl on the other side to open up. Well when you are selling your house you should always be prepared for a potential shark at the door and remember not to open up for just a candy gram or flower delivery.
Here are some safety tips for Home Sellers:
- Never let anyone in without a confirmed appointment. I am always surprised at the number of people who just open the door assuming the person is a Realtor. Anyone can make a business card but you would need to be a Realtor to book an appointment through a listing agent. Listing agents should check the person’s name online or use an automated scheduling service only accessible by Realtors.
- People who are selling their homes by owner should try to use an online method of identification through Google or White Pages. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for a driver’s license upon arrival or any other means of identification. Nowadays it’s easy to find just about anyone even on Facebook!
- Never answer any questions about your home to anyone on the phone or outside in the yard to a passerby. You have no idea who you are talking to so tell them to call the number on the sign. What if they ask you if it’s a safe neighborhood or do you have an alarm system? You may be inclined to answer that it’s so safe you never lock your doors even while you are away. Don’t laugh it has happened before.
- Be sure that even at an open house you have your Realtor leave sign in sheets and upon your return home check all doors and windows to be sure they are properly locked up.
I’m not being paranoid or trying to make anyone nervous. In most cases this is a rare situation but so is a tornado in Massachusetts! I am just reminding people always to be aware of safety. If you have children at home remind them that just because someone says “candy gram” when the doorbell rings that it doesn’t mean there isn’t a shark at the door!