Selling A House: Open House Safety Tips

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Ellis Property Investments




An open house can be a great sales tool, but it also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. Stay safe by practicing these guidelines.


• Call the local police department and ask them to have a squad care drive by during your open-house hours.

• Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial. Carry an extra, fully charged cell phone battery.

• Determine several “escape” routes that you can use in case of an emergency. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.

• Turn on the lights and open the curtains. These are not only sound safety procedures, but also great marketing tactics.

• Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.

• When prospective buyers begin to arrive, jot down their car descriptions, license numbers and physical descriptions.

• When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.

• Notify a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to notify the police immediately.

• Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.


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contact Doretha Caldwell at 910-286-9396 or visit at





Comments (4)

Karin Lundeen
Keller Williams Realty - Denver Southlands - Centennial, CO
Realtor Centennial Homes For Sale

Doretha,  I have been doing a lot of opens lately so these are good reminders!

Oct 20, 2010 03:32 PM
Kelly Risch
Keller Willliams Clients Choice Realty - Colorado Springs, CO

Doretha,  Thank you for the tips!  I am new to real estate and it helps to have handy advice.

Oct 20, 2010 04:21 PM
Ted Tyrrell
RE/MAXCamosun (Chatterton) - Victoria, BC
Selling Homes in Beautiful Victoria

Good points. Another idea is to take a colleague with you at your open houses. Make a pact with another realtor in your office to do Open Houses in pairs--routinely. As a male realtor, I will always commit to partnering with another realtor at an Open, if asked and if I do not have prior commitments. We're all in this together! We need each other.

Oct 20, 2010 05:09 PM
Doretha Caldwell
Ellis Property Investments - Fayetteville, NC

Ted, Yes taking a colleague with you and pairing up is absolutely a safer thing to do.  In fact, in today's climate I would say it is a must. Thanks Ted.

Oct 20, 2010 05:21 PM