The best ways to guarantee your security
/ safety when conducting viewings
Estate agents are sure to start fighting back against the growing tide of people rejecting them in favour of selling their own home. While this has not happened yet, considering their loss of earnings you can be certain that they will.
One of the main arguments they are likely to pull out of the hat will be fear; that it is dangerous to allow strangers into your home.
We're all paranoid about stranger danger. And if you don't take precautions it can be foolish.
But Estate Agents don't necessarily make much of a difference here. They will often get you to show people around yourself anyway.
And sadly, one of the most famous tragic cases was that of Susie Lamplugh, a young Estate Agent who disappeared when she went to attend a viewing. (The Susie Lamplugh Trust was set up by Susie's mother, Diane, and specialises in personal safety precautions).
The difference with showing your own home is that - unlike an Estate Agent - you are not doing it all the time and will take it that much more seriously.
Ideally you can have someone else in your property while doing the viewing.
Before arranging an appointment for a viewing get the following from the potential buyer.
Firstly get some personal details from them and check up on these.
Get their name and address
Get TWO phone numbers: Home and Work.
Never just accept a mobile number. If they want to give it for convenience that's great. BUT ask them for their current home land line number and if there is anyone else who lives there who can verify their bona fides.
Explain that as part of the normal security check you need their main work number (ie not a direct line) and the name of a colleague who you can call to verify their identity.
Ask what their firm is called
Then check that their company exists and the phone number is the one listed publicly.
Explain politely that this is simply a requirement from your insurance company. You need this from anyone who wants to view your home
If there is any problem at all with providing any of these easily, quickly and without any edge then don't deal with them. You can call them later and explain politely that you have found a buyer, thank you.
When they arrive you could make it clear to them that you are not totally alone. For example you could say that your partner is due back soon but let’s get on with the viewing now shall we?
Or make a phone call within earshot. Say, “I’m just doing a viewing. I’ll be along in 15 minutes.” So the buyer knows you’ll be missed soon. OK there are very few psychos out there, but do it anyway.
Your For Sale sign should say “Viewings Strictly by Appointment Only”. If someone knocks at the door politely point that out. Tell them they are welcome to phone you. If they persist say slowly and firmly that you are not the seller, are expecting company imminently and/or watching your favourite TV programme thank you.
The Susie Lamplugh Trust have a useful info sheet on bogus callers
This includes the advice to fit a spyhole, and/or a security chain to your
front door so you can see who has rung your bell before opening up.
Tip: Keep copies of your description / particulars in your entrance hall and just give them one of those. It will have your number or email on it. Just ask them to phone. There will be no need to fuss about finding a pen. They will find it very difficult to talk their way through that.
We should stress that the only problems in this regard are really from aspiring burglars. And they are 99% unlikely to be violent. Contrary to tabloid beliefs there isn’t an axe murderer lurking on every street corner.
My Control Panel
Join The Club Here
FREE Sign Up for
NEXT 2 DAYS
For Sale Signs
Lawyers / Conveyancing
Own Home Sale Guides
How to Value My Own Home
Marketing My Own Home
Home Make Over
Viewings The Top Tips
Negotiate like a Pro
Own Property Advert Writer
Money Back Guarantee
Terms and Conditions