Realtors must use caution meeting cold call buyers 1st time at homes

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart

Realtors must use caution meeting cold call buyers 1st time at homes


Let's face it, it is very easy to get caught up in the day and forget that we live in a crazy 

world and there exists an elemen of pure evil meant to do harm to unprepared people.  

Here are a few tips to follow whenever you receive a cold call from a strange person asking to view a property for sale on short notice:

1. Always ask questions of your prospect to get as much information as you did this individual find you?  

2. We all know our time is most valuable and cannot be replaced...that being said, Realtors should never get in their car and head out with a buyer or to meet a buyer without having them speak with a mortgage lender and receive a prequalification form...this is not only a best practice and helps you be in control of the process, but should ensure a level of safety as well.  This potential client would have to give the lender a full name, date of birth, social securoty #, address and employment information in order to receive a prequalification.  

3. Ask any stranger to meet first at your brokers office so you can make a copy of driver license for your safety ad that this request is a matter of broker practice to ensure the safety of all Realtors.

4. Have the prospect send you a copy of their driver license.

5. Take another Realtor or friend with you to meet this new prospect.

6. Take a picture of their license plate upon arriving at a listing...this may seem odd, but remember, people who commit horendous crimes are crafty and they may very well look, act and come across as a normal person. 

7. Use an app on your mobil device like Homesnap that can alert police or someone you have registered within the app...I am working on developing an app for agent safety that should be available by April 2016.

8. Follow your gut is amazing how your gut can be yourself!

9. Carry protection in the form of pepper spray, a whistle, a horn and/or a firearm.

10. Make sure someone knows you are going on a showing, where you are going, the time you are meeting and an expected duration of the showing (are you showing 1 home or are you looking at 3-4 homes?


Be diligent and stay safe my fellow Realtors

Andrew Texidor

Solutions Real Estate


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Comments (47)

Chris Lima
Turtle Reef Realty - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

I think the most important of all of these is to trust your instincts. Also, beware of the false sense of security that the Internet sometimes provides. There are times when we may feel safer or feel as if we know someone just because we have had several conversations with them. I sometimes talk to people online for a few months before ever meeting them.  It's easy to think you know this person and let your guard down. 

Jan 25, 2016 10:28 PM
Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Destin, FL
Your Real Estate Resource!

In addition to the safety factor, I've found the "drop everything and show" prospects rarely result in a check. Always bring prospects to the office first. If they will not commit to that, what are the odds of them committing to you?

Jan 25, 2016 10:48 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Andrew provides some great reminders:

"Realtors should never get in their car and head out with a buyer or to meet a buyer without having them speak with a mortgage lender and receive a prequalification form...this is not only a best practice and helps you be in control of the process, but should ensure a level of safety as well."

"Ask any stranger to meet first at your brokers office so you can make a copy of driver license for your safety ad that this request is a matter of broker practice to ensure the safety of all Realtors."


Jan 25, 2016 11:00 PM
The Valley Solutions Real Estate Team

Thanks so much for the comments and input.  Best to you and be safe!

Feb 01, 2016 03:55 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

It wont be long now before all contact will be recorded when meeting up for records sake. A short video introducing the prospect, date & time reveals much

Jan 25, 2016 11:49 PM
Gene Fitzpatrick
Charlotte, NC
the Mortgage Doctor

In these days and times, I still can't understand why a real estate "professional" would meet with a prospect and take them around in their car using up your valuable time without having them pre-qualified or pre-approved or a previous client/referral.  It may not happen often but the possibility of an attack by a cold call prospect is scary.  Be safe,my friends.

Jan 26, 2016 12:14 AM
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

I so agree with you - safety first and go with your gut!

Jan 26, 2016 12:44 AM
John Oman
Newington, CT

All great ideas.  To bad many realtors dont follow this saftey guidelines   AT least until someone they know gets attacked...   


Come on Realtors, protect yourself everyday.

Jan 26, 2016 01:40 AM
Theresa Akin

Oh! You're sitting right in front of the property an want to see it now! Sorry! How's it feel to want? Well that's what some of us would like to say but not our office policy. We have instructions for you to get prequalified or have proof of funds ready to send me by email and so Ican contact the lender or bank officer. It is our brokerage policy to require certain information; photo ID and auto information for record for showing. We have to also set up an appointment, some foreclosures require certain information before viewing. Your information must be current. I'm too old for jumping and running; I'll tell you when we are ready to jump and run, if we do.

Jan 26, 2016 01:55 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

It's an easy thing to overlook--taking those extra steps to protect yourself as you never know what can happen.  Some (potential) customers act insulted if you start asking a few questions or to have them meet you at the office first...when you explain the reason they just don't seem to get it.

Jan 26, 2016 04:38 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I rely on my gut instinct. I just have to. The first thing I do in this case is to let them know that my partner and I will be meeting them...a man's name. So they believe that there will be a man there as well. Sexist? Yep....but only had one no-show that way, hmmm.

Jan 26, 2016 05:40 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Very wise precautions - and some wise comments as well. Back when I was an agent no one was ever pre-approved, which was a shame. We all wasted a lot of time on dreamers. 

I recall a few times when a customer or a contact made me nervous - then I would take along another agent, or one of my sons. An acquaintance once said to me: "I'd never mess with you - I've seen your boys." It made me feel a little like Ma Barker in the Old West. 

Jan 26, 2016 06:18 AM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Very good subject and even better comments. I agree that it not best to meet a stranger before they come to your office or other means of confirming who they are...

Jan 26, 2016 07:26 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Andrew, all excellent points and great reminders.    No potential paycheck is worth risking our safety.     I recently tromped around a few 50 acre parcels with one of my office mates because I didn't feel comfortable about her going "out there" alone with someone she hadn't met previously.     I actually got a bit of a work-out hiking, bonded with my colleage, and saw property I hadn't seen before,  as well as teaming up for safety.    Time well spent.

Jan 26, 2016 09:23 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Soulutions Real Estate - isn't it that at times, the agents themselves jump the gun and make it unsafe for themselves by agreeing to meet a stranger buyer at the listings?

Lots of good points in your post - and yes,

" Ask any stranger to meet first at your brokers office "

Jan 26, 2016 12:02 PM
Melissa Jackson REALTOR
Trinity Premier Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

These are great safety precautions.  Sometimes we find ourselves being to readily available and not cautious.

Jan 26, 2016 01:32 PM
Theresa M Fanelli
Larchmont, NY
Real Estate Agent serving Larchmont, New Rochelle

I agree with you 100 percent. Safety and Real Estate go hand in hand.

Thanks for reminding us.

Jan 27, 2016 05:29 AM
Christi Farrington
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT

Great post and wonderful feedback.  I follow my gut and will never meet a stranger at a property.  If the have to see it immediately, they can ask another Realtor.  That makes me nervous.  Plus, it may be someone using me to enter a house that they have been checking out for other reasons.  Nope, I'm not going to be the one showing that house.

Jan 27, 2016 07:30 AM
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

most brokerages I know actually have an office policy regarding this practice which is focused upon increased agent safety.

Jan 27, 2016 01:50 PM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

This is a great list- I have  them text me a picture of the driver's license- which gives me the real name and I can check it against tax records, Facebook, Missouri has a criminal website we can check people on for free also.  Good luck and great list!

Jan 30, 2016 12:54 AM
The Valley Solutions Real Estate Team

that is great Shanna

Feb 01, 2016 03:59 AM
Eren Millam
Realty World Cosser & Associates, Inc. - Chehalis, WA
Certified Negotiation Expert

This year, not for safety, I've started the practice of the buyer consultation. This requires that we meet first and if the buyer doesn't want to meet, I don't have to commit any more time to them. Yes I work with less buyers, but I am working with more quality buyers!


Feb 15, 2016 12:16 PM