Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 14, 2018

Realtor safety tips for home buyers, sellers

The National Association of Realtors this month released its 2018 Member Safety Report, which surveyed over 3,000 Realtors about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences and the safety procedures they follow.

The report found that nearly a third of Realtors experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information, and 43 percent of Realtors choose to carry self-defense weapons.

Realtors understand better than anyone the safety risks associated with real estate transactions. Because of that, it’s imperative for members to share safety protocols with home buyers so they can learn about what they might encounter during the home buying process.

The most common circumstances that resulted in fearful situations were open houses, showing vacant and model homes, working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured and showing homes in remote areas.

Here are some safety guidelines from Greater Chattanooga Realtors you should expect to follow when working with a Realtor to help ensure a safe experience for everyone involved.

Meet at your agent’s office

Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a Realtor might set up the initial meeting at his or her office. Most people would tell you that meeting at a real estate professional’s office for the first time is more comfortable and appropriate and makes both parties feel safe.

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 his or her office, so have these items on hand for your initial meeting.

According to the NAR’s 2018 Member Safety Report, nearly 70 percent of real estate offices have standard procedures for safeguarding client data and information. Keeping this information secure is an important step that ensures a safe agent and client relationship.

Don’t view vacant properties at night

Your agent might choose to show vacant properties during the day to be more aware of potential safety hazards, including loose floorboards or any other defects. So, when viewing a vacant property, expect to view it during daylight hours.

More information on Realtor and consumer safety

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is “The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.