FAQ: Is an open house safe? Don't you get nervous?
Safety is extremely important, and steps should definitely be taken to alleviate risk. Some guidelines to practice:
- Call the local police department and ask them to have a squad car drive by during your open-house hours.
- Check your cell phone’s strength
and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on
speed dial. Carry an extra, fully charged cell phone battery.
- Determine several “escape” routes
that you can use in case of an emergency. Make sure all deadbolt locks are
unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
- Turn on the lights and open the
curtains. These are not only sound safety procedures, but also great
- Make sure that if you were to
escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently,
high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
- When prospective buyers begin to
arrive, jot down their car descriptions, license numbers and physical
- When showing the house, always
walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example,
“The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
- Notify a friend or a relative
that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call,
they are to notify the police immediately.
Not all of these are practical or necessary at every open house, but putting safety first is definitely a must! We owe it to ourselves as well as to our clients.