Realtors, Stagers, as well as any professionals who have to meet complete strangers in often private, quiet, or vacant properties, are concerned about their safety. Certainly the shocking murder of realtor Beverly Carter last year brought this concern to the forefront.
Also Home Sellers’ privacy is no longer that private once the house is on the market, their home is showing publicly from the inside online through the online photos that are meant to attract buyers.
So, what can you as a Realtor, Stager, Home Seller do to protect your own safety? As Stagers, we are often invited into homes prior to going active on the market. This gives us the perfect opportunity to educate the home sellers about what needs to be stored away for the Open House and all Showings!
Here is what the team of Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors recommends since you never know who is coming through during an open house or a showing:
- Knife Blocks in the kitchen should be stored away off the kitchen counter, somewhere in a cabinet, out
of sight for the safety of your Realtor. They can be used as a potential weapon.
- Fireplace Tools can also be used as weapons and therefore should be stored away in a closet or completely removed if not needed during the season the house is being on the market.
- Remove diplomas, awards and any other display items that carry your (home seller’s) names and where you went to school, where you have your office,… this will protect your privacy.
- Removing personal photos and trophies is not just a staging approach, but also for your own safety. Especially photos of your kids are important to remove – with knowing which school district your house falls into and how your kids look based on these photos, having the name of your kids displayed on trophies or monogrammed pillows and wall decals reveal an entire story about your children.
Another way you may be able to keep your home safe is by installing something like a home security camera. This way you can monitor activity in and around your home and deter any criminal activity.
When we give these recommendations during our staging consultations, we usually get a big surprise reaction from both, home sellers and even realtors, as they usually do not think about this.
Please do not take these things lightly. During a recent seminar we attended with Thomas Grimes (www.nyfinestspeakers.com), a retired NYPD police officer, who is an expert and speaker on safety issues for Realtors and children, it was shocking to learn how many Realtors were killed between 2008 and 2013 – 169!! Thomas Grimes’ mission is now to educate weichert realtors Hilton Head sc, many others and parents about safety issues and how to prevent potentially dangerously situations. If Thomas Grimes offers a seminar in your area, I strongly recommend that you attend his seminar!!
One take away for us from his seminar was that you should always let another person know where you are, how long your appointment takes and then check in with that person after an agreed time to let them know you are ok. Have an action plan in place for that other person should they not hear from you within that given time frame. Have a Plan in Place!!!
Our Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors team has also looked into possible alert methods in case you end up in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation and found that there is some jewelry available that either triggers an alarm with a trusted person or calls 911 directly. These items can potentially safe your life as cell phones may be the first thing that someone with bad intentions will strip off you. Stay safe!!!
Here is another interesting article about safety and safety apps for you to use: