For Sale by Owner Safety Tips

fsbo-assistance-package-coverWhile North Colorado Springs is a pretty safe part of town, there are certain things that criminals will focus on as ‘easy’ or ‘low risk’.

Burglars will focus on houses where the potential windfall is greatest, and our higher-income houses in North Colorado Springs can oftentimes be a target for robberies. When selling your house, using a licensed Real Estate Agent has many benefits…not the least of which is safety for yourself and your possessions.

Unfortunately, the thought of making a few extra dollars on the sale sometimes makes sellers ignore some common-sense safety rules and choose to sell their home privately. If you are thinking of doing so, please consider your personal safety before you do.

Don’t be one of the many people who choose to sell their house privately and are caught unaware of the dangers associated with doing so. Following some of these simple suggestions will go a long way to protecting you, your family and your valuables.

  • Don’t allow customers to come inside your house unscheduled. If a potential buyer knocks on your door and asks to see the house, resist the urge to allow them in immediately. The odds of them being a serious buyer are remote, and if they are serious they will want to make an appointment. Tell them that you are on your way out, and take their name and phone number and call them to set up a showing later. If they’re serious, they will give it to you. If they refuse, you’re better off!
  • Record license plate numbers. Some criminals pose as buyers to give them an opportunity to see inside your house (and decide if robbing you is worth it). If your house is burglarized at a later date, Police will want a list of everybody who has recently entered. Names that type of person gives you will probably be fake, but a license plate can always be traced.
  • Ask for identification. Again, serious buyers will not have a problem with showing a driver’s license etc., or even allowing you to photocopy it.
  • Put away all your valuables. Before you put that sign in your front yard, put away anything of value, such as jewelry, watches, crystal, small electronics etc.
  • Let customers walk the house alone. Resist the urge to walk them through the house. Allow them to see it for themselves, and talk amongst themselves. They won’t feel comfortable saying what they really mean to each other if the owner is in the room with them. If you insist on accompanying them, please:
  • Don’t lead customers into rooms. Allow them to go in first, and stay by the door. Leave yourself an exit route in case things get strange.
  • Don’t show your house if you’re the only one home. Make sure there’s at least two of you in the house when potential buyers visit. There’s safety in numbers.
  • Keep a cellular or cordless phone with you. Preferably with a speed dial option to allow you to quickly call 911 should the need arise.
  • Power off and password protect computers. Many identity thieves prey on homeowners who allow strangers into their houses. An identity-grabbing virus can be installed on your computer in a matter of seconds by plugging a small USB flash drive into a powered-on computer.

All of these safety issues can be solved by hiring a licensed Real Estate Agent to represent you in the selling of your house.