Everyone is concerned about safety these days. The protection of oneself, loved ones and personal property is imperative and one needs to be proactive on this at all times when it comes to Buying and Selling a home.
Several years ago, due to a “scam” artist operating as a Buyer in Summit County (targeting high end properties), Tessa and I were involved in helping prevent this from happening again to other Realtors in our community. With the efforts from a grass roots “me too” movement of our local brokers, our local sheriff’s office, and our Summit Realtors association, we now have the access to an easy to use phone App called “Forewarn”. This is available to licensed, registered Realtors only and it works much like the ones police officers use in plugging information to find out the background and history of individuals.
This is not only important for our safety in meeting with and representing customers and clients, but to insure our property owners know exactly who is in their property and when.
We have found it is imperative that our Sellers do NOT place just manual lockboxes on their properties for access to just anyone or allow the overuse of keypads. Local brokers and members of our Summit Realtors use an electronic lock box system (or ELB’s as we call them) that offers the best in securing a property for showings and contractor access. Our Realtors are registered through the local sheriff’s department (fingerprints included) in order to place these devices on a property. Then the ELBs can monitor the exact time of entrance into a property and by whom (codes and access are only given out through the “Showingtime” system), and tripping of the system pops up automatically on a cell phone.
The showing instructions through our ELB’s also allow for information on pets and guests in the property to insure their safety as well.
Sometimes Sellers choose to have security devices in place and brokers are to be aware of these and if they are being recorded during the time in the property.
Using a FaceTime in showing properties is getting more and more common so all of our security measures need to be in place to protect our Sellers and Buyers.
Safety Protocols at LML
We have also found that family photos and expensive artwork are items that a Seller may not want displayed on the internet. We can be careful with placing photography (blocking them and address numbers out of photos) and removing photos from the internet after a sale of the property.
And speaking of the world having access to your property (especially when it is for sale). A recent publication offered these tips on keeping things private Google Maps these days. Who knows what and who was on your property when these images were taken without your knowledge?
Here’s how to request that images of your house or car get blurred out.
- Go to Google Maps and search your home address
- Click on the image of your residence, or click the little orange man at the lower right of the screen and drag him to your house
- Click on Report a Problem at the bottom of the right of the scree
- Fill out the form. Google asks for descriptive information (such as the color and model of your car). Add that you are making this request because of privacy concerns. Note that blurring cannot be undone.
We will discuss internet and document security at another time, but it is always important to discuss any concerns you may have about your property safety and protection with your local professional real estate broker.