Safety First at an Open House

Regina P. Brown | May 28, 2015 | Industry Commentary

Safety First at an Open HouseNow that you’ve planned a rock-star open house for your new listing, and you rolled out amazing real estate ads, it’s time to consider your safety.  It’s important to factor in your protection ahead of time and to incorporate good safety practices into your everyday schedule.  Have you heard the saying, “expect the best, but plan for the worst?” 
Take precautions to ensure your safety by following these open house tips:

Preparation

  • Schedule the open house only for daylight hours. In the winter, you’ll need to close before dark, which could be quite early.
  • Have at least two people to help you. If your spouse can’t attend, ask your mortgage lender, vendor, or business partner or accompany you.
  • Charge your cell phone fully. Use safety apps and emergency contacts who know your back-up plan.
  • Check in with your spouse or buddy to let him/her know where you plan to be, and what times you will be there.

Setting Up the Open House

  • Call your spouse or buddy to let him/her know you are in the house safely. Ensure your phone has a strong signal or there is a landline available.
  • Open curtains and turn on the lights.
  • Become familiar with the house. Walk through potential escape routes in case of emergency.
  • Set up a Guest Log and require that each guest register their name, phone, and address.  Require them to show ID.
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out during the open house.
  • When guests arrive, write down descriptions of their car and them.
  • If you don’t feel safe, call the police and ask them to drive by the house and check out the neighborhood.

During the Open House

  • Set up your guest sign-in log right at the front door.
  • Sit at the front door where you can see each person coming in and monitor the cars coming and going.
  • When showing the house, let them walk in front of you. Don’t go inside of bedrooms or bathrooms; in fact, stay near the front door.
  • Your partner can escort one family through the house at a time while you wait in the front room with the other guests.
  • Keep your cell phone in your hand, not plugged in across the room from you.
  • Make sure the front door is always kept open and in plain sight of the neighbors.

After the Open House

  • Ensure that every guest has left the property before locking all the doors and shutting the curtains.
  • Call your spouse or buddy to let him/her know that you are leaving the house.
  • If you notified any neighbors, let them also know that you are leaving.
  • Write a brief note to the residents, thanking them.
It’s simple to ensure your safety at open houses by planning ahead. Make it a habit to take basic steps each and every time you host an open house to ensure success for you and your sellers.
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Regina P. Brown

Want to guest post on Home Value Leads? Find out how! Regina P. Brown is a California real estate broker and has been licensed since 1988. She writes monthly articles for the San Diego Association of Realtors®, publishes a popular blog on ActiveRain, and has authored 2 real estate books. Regina enjoys contributing valuable information to her fellow colleagues because she’s passionate about her mission to “raise the standard of professionalism” in our real estate industry.