You spend a lot of time helping homeowners getting their homes ready to put on the market, and when they do, the next natural step is typically to have an open house. Open houses can be a lot of work but also rewarding and quick results.
Whether you’re new to real estate or have been an agent for years, there are some things you may overlook that could put the safety of your potential buyers or you at risk of injury. Consider these tips to ensure a safe open house.
Make Sure Valuables are Locked Up
Every homeowner should secure their valuables before an open house, but it’s always important to make sure that dangerous weapons (like firearms) are nowhere to be found and completely out of reach of children or interested buyers at an open house.
It’s easy to trust people who come to an open house, but you never know what could happen if valuables are out in the open or if weapons are easy to access. For the safety and peace of mind for everyone, valuables must be locked up or even stored off-site.
Eliminate Tripping Hazards and Look for Spills
A slip and fall accident at an open house can have disastrous and expensive consequences. While accidents happen and are sometimes out of your control, you can do your best to make sure that the property is safe for the open house and showings.
Pay attention to areas, like the kitchen or bathroom, where there may be spills on the floor (especially if you are serving coffee or drinks at the open house). Are there rugs or carpeting that doesn’t lay flat? Are there cords in the middle of foot traffic? A piece of flooring that needs repairing?
Address all of these issues before the open house to avoid potential injuries and other problems.
Clearly Mark Any Hazardous Areas
If there’s an area in the home that needs work or is in the middle of being fixed, it’s important to clearly mark it as an area to be careful in. While you can’t really restrict the area, and even though it might not be a great selling point, safety is essential for everyone who visits the property.
Know the Property and Be Alert
Every good agent strives to know the property before they have a showing, but sometimes you don’t know a place as well as you would like. Whether you’re showing a “fixer upper” or an immaculate, high-price home it’s best to know as much as you can before an open house. Not only will this improve the chance of selling the property, but it will help with any potentially dangerous areas or features in the home.
There are many perks of being a real estate agent, but it can also be a risky profession at times. Always try to put yourself in a situation where you’re in charge and feel safe. Be alert of your surroundings, the customers you are working with, and always let others know where you are whether it’s an open house or private showing.