Safety For The Single Mom - Another Reason Not To Go FSBO?

Home Stager with Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC

Often when Staging a home for a single woman/mom, I suggest that they add some men's clothing to the Master bedroom closet.  Either borrow some slightly off season items from a friend or family member, or buy some inexpensive items at a thrift store. When only women's clothing is in the Master closet it can signal that either the husband has already relocated or the husband has left the home due to death or divorce - all of those situations infer to a buyer that the seller could be in a stressful situation and NEED to sell. Even more worrisome, it potentially advertises that the single woman is easy prey for a robbery or burgulary or worse.

This week I was Staging a would-be FSBO (For Sale By Owner) for a single mom.  I went over my suggestion for adding men's clothing to the closet and a thought struck me.  If she were listing with an agent, would she have more security?

Think about the process - a FSBO takes all calls from potential buyers him/herself and also handles all showings.  Who knows who could be calling?  If the home were listed with an agent, the agent would handle all phone calls and showings.  Therefore the agent would add a layer of security since they often pre-qualify buyers or the showing agent has.  Either way the agent would have personal data on all potential buyers therefore making them less likely to commit a crime since they could more easily be found?

As a former single mom I am often aware of the need to protect these families.  I am curious what other agents and Stagers think about this?



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Ross Designs Is Omaha's Full Service Home Staging Company, Dedicated To Supporting The Real Estate Industry!

 Omaha Area Board of Realtors (OABR) and Women's Council Of Realtors (WCR) Affiliate Member. 

Incorporated in 2004, Ross Designs stages 150-200 homes every year. Owner Occupied and Vacant Staging Programs, Color Consultations for Existing and New Construction, Holiday Decor Design and Implementation, and Odor Removal Services.

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David Matney
BHHS - Ambassador Real Estate - Omaha, NE
Omaha, NE Real Estate | Omaha, NE Homes For Sale

Something crazy just happened with my comments?  It just auto-duplicated them about 6 times?

Sep 05, 2008 01:55 PM #41
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

Everyone - thank you for reading and commenting!  If you have read through the other comments you may have noticed a couple of negative remarks that are borderline attacking my thoughts.  Seems like the only negative comments have been received from companies that offer FSBO services.

My suggestion here that perhaps a single mother/woman might have a little more security in listing with an agent as opposed to self representation was not to insinuate that a single woman could not sell a home herself or that she would face certain peril if she did.  My thoughts were shared only to potentially help someone, raise awareness of safety issues and open a dilaogue. 


Sep 05, 2008 02:06 PM #42
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

David -- Featured post??????  That's FABULOUS!!!!

Your comment was not posted 6 times, only once.

I am meeting with other staff members at Charleston Homes next week; I will discuss the possibiliy of having her on the show.  Great idea!

Sep 05, 2008 02:08 PM #43
Marlene Pellegrini
Norwich, CT


I love your advise about the men's clothing.  I will use that idea if you do not mind.

Sep 05, 2008 02:40 PM #44
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

This is excellent advice.  I had not thought of it.  I do like the idea of single women having an enclosed garage if buying so that no one can tell when she at home or gone.  And I so know that when we tour homes as Realtors we have a tendency to wonder why the house is for sale and may get the answer if we inspect the closet and fine clothing for only a male or female.  Closets tell a lot.

Sep 05, 2008 02:56 PM #45
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Congrats on the Featured Post!!!!

You totally deserve it.


Sep 05, 2008 04:03 PM #46
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I had never thought about this. I think your idea to add male clothing are teriffic.

Sep 05, 2008 06:48 PM #47
The Story of Home with Kevin Foster
The Story of Home - Columbus, OH


I never thought about this either, so thank you for writing it.  No matter others opinion of what works or doesn't work, what's safe or not, your tip is a great one.  I'm glad to see you're looking out for others.  It's better to increase safety as best as you can regardless of the process.

Sep 06, 2008 12:05 AM #48
David Mauldin - Century 21 Winnersville, Valdosta Ga

Here are my top 10 ideas for a FSBO showing a home:

10. Put a large dog bowl at the entrance of your front door.

9. Place large worn men boots next to the dog bowl.

8. Place fake security stickers on your front, if you don't have security.

7. Place a fake security camera over the front door..

6. Place "By appointment only" on the FSBO sign.

5. Let them enter and leave a room first.

4. Carry a key change with mace.

3. Do not be at home alone.... NEVER

2. Get someone to ease outside and gather information on their auto,ie, make model, license #

And the #1 idea 

Replace the deer head with a fake human head with the inscription: UNKNOWN INTRUDER (just kidding on this one)


Sep 06, 2008 03:38 AM #49
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

Michelle -- glad to see you made it back home safely!  Did your home suffer much storm damage?

Barbara, Christine, Kevin and David -- thanks for your coments.  Happy and successful selling to everyone!

Sep 06, 2008 03:43 AM #50
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Having a murder in Austin by a FSBO a few years back, this is an easy sell here.  In addition, I tell my female clients to never, never, never let a person in the door to see your home; agent or no agent. 

Some don't listen, and we hear sad consequences.

Sep 06, 2008 07:43 AM #51
James Wexler - Scottsdale, AZ

i have been frustrated to see how many model homes at new construction communities have only 1 on-site sales rep walking/touring many model homes for walk-in clients -

Sep 14, 2008 04:04 AM #52
Dan Hagman
ProSite Home Inspections - Pleasant Hill, Iowa - Pleasant Hill, IA
ProSite Home Inspections, LLC

Tori - Great points for safety, you should repspond to Liz!

Liz - You have allot of valid points also, seems like everyone is ignoring your feedback.

Sep 30, 2008 08:15 AM #53
Heather Chotard
In Style - Edmonton, AB

Such a smart idea!


Sep 30, 2008 08:20 AM #54
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Tori, thought provoking and we hope she'd have more safeguards with an agent.  Thanks for thinking to share this. 

Sep 30, 2008 11:16 AM #55
Sharon Harris
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Hanover, PA

You hit the nail on the head. When listing with a Realtor only preapproved clients get in. Also The buyers agent is there with the buyer during the showing. Plus the sellers are not present. they leave the door is locked and key into the lock box not under the door mat or elsewhere. this is just so much safer.

Oct 03, 2008 08:59 AM #56
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Really really good points. I typically advise clients about the home looking like a potential divorce situation, but hadn't even thought of the safety issues.  Thanks for bringing this to our thought processes!!!

Oct 04, 2008 03:02 PM #57
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


Great advise, I hope you don't mind that I borrow it for my single female clients! ;)

Oct 09, 2008 04:19 AM #58
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

Michelle - feel free to use this info however you like!



Oct 09, 2008 09:56 AM #59
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Never thought of this...great idea.  Of course people will notice if a man doesn't live there.  I would not want strangers to know that I was living there alone if I were selling my house.  Thanks for sharing.  I will pass this info on to my clients and realtors in my area.

Oct 09, 2008 10:16 AM #60
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