By KRISTI BAILEY
Real estate can be a rewarding and enjoyable career, but it is a high-risk profession. Many real estate professionals find themselves in situations that put them in harm’s way. That is why the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has dedicated September as REALTORS® Safety Month for the past 17 years. The goal is to raise safety awareness. This year, COVID-19 introduced new dimensions for the observance of Safety Month.
While agent safety is the #1 reason for the month, client safety is equally important. Here are some of NAR’s suggestions for sellers’ security:
Strangers will be walking through your home during showings or open houses. Hide valuables in a safe place. For security’s sake, remember to remove keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs, and other valuables from your home or lock them away during showings. Also, remove prescription drugs.
Do not leave personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it. Before your showings, be sure to lock down your computer and lock up your laptop and any other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like iPods.
Do not show your home yourself – not all agents, buyers, and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. We tell our children not to talk to strangers, and neither should sellers. Refer all inquiries to your agent.
You are responsible for your pets. If possible, remove your animals during showings. All buyers are not dog and cat people. Do not let your furry friends cost you a sale. If there is an incident involving your animal, you can be held liable.
Turn on all the lights, draw your curtain, raise your binds, and open all the doors of places that a potential buyer needs or will want to see, including cabinet doors that hide the bells and whistles in your kitchen and that walk-in closet door in your master bedroom. This is the time to showcase your home’s best features.
As REALTORS®, we are also taking extra precautions to protect you during this time. We are wearing masks and gloves. We are using hand sanitizer. We are wiping down high-touch areas with disinfectants. We are also limiting the number of people per showing. These are just some of the precautions that may become standard operating procedures for REALTORS® going the extra mile for themselves and their clients. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Be safe out there!
NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,500 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.