As I’m sure many of you have heard, a REALTOR® in Arkansas, Beverly Carter was killed while showing a home. This was a vacant home and the potential buyer asked the agent to meet at the house directly. We are all eager to connect with a buyer or seller and sometimes we are all guilty of taking risks that are not necessary.
To avoid taking unnecessary risks, we should be asking certain questions of a buyer/seller before we just drop everything and meet the person. You should be getting the person’s ID and how they are financing the property at a minimum. If they do have a pre-approval from a lender, have you followed up by talking with the loan officer? Does the ID look like the person you are meeting? If they are “all cash” did they show you proof of funds?
More importantly than anything else, is what I like to refer to as “red flags.” How did they find you to contact? If internally something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Something that we do everyday can be very dangerous. With Louisa, if I can’t be there with her we set up a text protocol. Meaning, once she has already asked all the questions and taken a photocopy or picture of the person’s driver’s license and once she arrives at the first property, she will text me with a code. She and I are the only ones that know the code. If she feels uncomfortable she sends me a code. If everything is fine she sends me a different code. She always sends me a list and order of which homes she is showing. This can also be done with open houses. You send a text every 30 minutes or so and if there is a problem you text a code and the receiver should call the police or should be coming over to check on you.
We put together a Buyer Intake Form. This should help you feel more comfortable asking for the prospective buyer’s ID, as we indicate that it is required. It is completely up to you if you would like to use this form, but we are here as a brokerage to help and support you any way that we can.
For the story on what happened to fellow REALTOR®, Beverly Carter click here.