In order to conduct not only a successful but safe, show house, Greeff encourages following these tips to ensure optimum safety:
1. Familiarise yourself with the property
As the chosen agent for your show house, your seller exercises full trust and confidence in you to take the utmost care of any belongings they may have within the property.
Familiarising yourself with the property at hand should go without saying. It is worthwhile to arrive at your show house timeously in order to fully inspect the property. Doing a clean sweep of the property beforehand makes sure nothing is left to chance and will also allow for a proper inspection to be done to the home in terms of cleanliness, insects or termite life but especially in terms of safety.
2. Consider the seller’s valuables
This works hand in hand with the previous point. In familiarising yourself with your show house, advise your client to secure all valuables in a safe or consider keeping them in custody for the duration of the show house.
Alternatively, draw up an inventory list of all valuables within the home before potential buyers start to arrive. Once they have left, go through the inventory list once again, ensuring each item is as before.
3. Be aware of the status of all windows and doors
Often, the owner may unwittingly leave a window or door open, in some cases just a crack. As you move through various areas of the home, this could be the ideal opportunity to allow strangers to rummage through the home. Secure all windows and doors beforehand to eliminate this possible situation. If the windows or doors do pose a problem within the home, it is important to address them before a possible show house is held.
4. Bring someone with you
There are many benefits to bringing someone with you to your show house. While the person need not be directly involved in the property market, their presence could be a lifesaver. Bringing someone with you allows for an added sense of security, especially in bigger-sized properties. It is also more likely that having someone with you will discourage potential thieves.
5. Always stay behind the visitors
At show houses, things may tend to become busy as people will be coming and going within minutes of each other. Therefore it is imperative to stay behind the visitors as they move through the property. Having your back turned to them allows for an opportunity for someone to slip away from the rest of the group and enter another room without your knowledge.
6. Make notes of suspicious behavior
In dealing with many people, you will become more aware of any suspicious behavior as it happens. In the event that anything unsavory occurs, you would have made notes to not only corroborate your story but will also be able to alert other sellers to potential dangers of people who act suspiciously.
7. Identify people before they enter the property
A sure-fire way to ensure all potential buyers are who they say they are is to have them identify themselves by way of an identity document or driver’s license. This will all in all guarantee that everyone in the house is identified, and thus eliminating any confusion or worry.
8. If you feel unsafe, insist on leaving – and make them leave too
In the event of feeling unsafe, it is best to inform the owner of the situation and lock up and leave. Nine times out of ten, the owner themselves would discourage the agent against remaining in the home where there is any form of danger.