Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 8, 2023

Safety protocols when working with a Realtor

The National Association of Realtors will soon release its 2023 Member Safety Report, which surveys Realtors around the nation about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences, and the safety procedures and protocols their brokerage observes.

The NAR publishes this report each September for Realtor Safety Month. Yet safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors all year long.

In previous years, a small but noticeable number of respondents reported they experienced a situation in which they feared for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information. Realtors understand the safety risks associated with real estate transactions, so it’s imperative to create and share safety protocols with clients to teach them about what they might encounter during a real estate transaction.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is committed to providing consumers with the resources and education to stay safe and secure. Here are some safety protocols to expect to provide a safe experience for all parties involved.

Meet your agent at their office

Generally speaking, meeting a stranger at an unknown location can be an uneasy notion. Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a Realtor might set up the initial meeting at their office. Most people agree that meeting a real estate professional at their office is much more comfortable and appropriate for the first meeting.

Secure your personal information

Your agent might make copies of your driver’s license and mortgage preapproval letter for their records. This allows the agent to keep a record of your information at their office and store it in a secure place. So, have these items on hand for your initial meeting.

As Realtors, we safeguard our clients’ data and ensure it stays away from prying eyes. Keeping this information safe and secure is a crucial step in maintaining a safe agent and client relationship.

Avoid carpooling

Even though more and more people are returning to a pre-COVID world where carpooling was common, don’t expect your Realtor to drive you to a property. Driving separately is a safety precaution for you and your Realtor – so don’t feel offended.

Most people don’t pick up hitchhikers and understand the importance of not transporting strangers to a property showing. Driving separately also enables both parties to depart separately from the showing and get back to other business, such as returning to the office or picking up the kids from school.

Your agent might walk behind you

Realtors typically let buyers take the lead when exploring a home. This is a common safety protocol and also allows you to view each room on the property first and make your own impressions.

View a vacant property by day

Your Realtor might only show vacant properties by day so you can see safety hazards such as loose floorboards or other defects. So, when viewing a vacant, or even an occupied property, expect to view it during daylight hours.

I urge Realtors and the public to explore the various safety resources available from our association and NAR at gcar.net/realtor-safety-2023. Safety is our priority year-round.

Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is the voice for real estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,700 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors serves Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations and boards of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors owns and operates a multiple listing service, which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 3,000 users. Local association membership consists of Realtors servicing the Greater Chattanooga area and specializing in a variety of disciplines – appraisal, commercial, industrial, land, multifamily, property management and residential. Working alongside Realtors are our affiliate members, who represent related industries in sympathy with the objectives of the association. Our affiliate members include mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and closing services, pest inspection and control and insurance.