If you take the time to think about it, the idea of announcing to the world that you will be at an empty house for two to three hours is a little insane. Then to welcome strangers into the house to have them look around is possibly even more insane. But that's exactly what we do every time we hold an open house.
Take Some Precautions
Real estate agents and sellers all want to expose the property to the marketplace in an effort to attract the best qualified buyer. An open house is one of the best ways to attract potential buyers who are in the market, but aren't working with an agent, to see the property. In an effort to provide a safe environment for ourselves and our clients, there are a few precautions that need to be taken when holding an open house.
Remove Expensive Items
Sellers need to remove all of their expensive items if their house is to be put on lockbox or having an open house. If may sound like a great inconvenience to do so, but it is in the best interest of the seller to do so. Since the seller is moving anyway, why not box up the more valuable items and put them in storage. It will be fewer items to pack in the end. This is especially true if the seller has small valuables. Those should definitely be removed and money, even coins, should not be left out.
Have More Than One Agent
If you are holding open a large house or expect there to be a great deal of traffic at the open house, share the wealth and ask a colleague to assist you with the open house. One agent can be upstairs keeping an eye on things, while the other agent greets the visitors on the first floor. Half way through the open house you can change positions. When an agent is nearby, visitors are less likely to open things they have no business opening. When there are two agents at an open house it is also easier to keep track of people coming and going.
Charge Your Phone
Make sure your smartphone has a full charge and keep it with you at all times. If a visitor looks suspicious, call a friend or family member and let the visitor hear you on the phone. Let your friend or family member know exactly where you are. Stay close to the front door or stand outside. If possible, take a picture of the visitor just in case. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Securing the Property
If you have to work an open house by yourself, always keep the keys to the property with you. When it's not too busy it is easy to keep track of the people who have entered the property and when they left. When the open house is over, walk through the property to make sure all of the doors and windows have been locked.
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