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  • Steve Lockhart

20 Safety Tips for FSBO - For Sale By Owners

As a for sale by owner (FSBO), you are in charge of marketing and selling your home without the help of a real estate agent. This means you are also responsible for the safety and security of your family and their assets during open houses and showings.

Note: Studies show a small red sign from a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) may inform the public that you are not protected by a professional real estate agent and the security measures customary of their training and services…

Don’t be a victim when choosing to sell your own home…

There’s one major motivator FSBOs (For Sale by Owners) want to and try to sell their home on their own. They want to maximize their profits by not paying a sales commission to a professional real estate agent.

Unfortunately, in my opinion but in full disclosure, I am a professional REALTOR® in Las Vegas Nevada, they don’t realize all the benefits a real estate agent provides.

One major area quickly dismissed and mistakenly ignored is SAFETY and SECURITY of their family, life, and assets. As a FSBO, you have volunteered to be responsible for marketing, negotiations, contract law, real estate law, vetting potential buyers and ohhhh yea… SECURITY and the SAFETY of your family and all assets while navigating the challenges of your regular daily hurdles.


You can find helpful tips for FSBOs following this link... click here.


Picture this, after coming home from a long day at work, a stranger who says they happened by your “For Sale by Owner” sign in the front yard and decided to stop and see if you will allow him to come in to see your home that is for sale. You, tired not thinking clearly focused on diner and spending some time with your family let a complete stranger into your home because you think this might be the person to buy your house and solve one of many issues you are currently dealing with.

While in your home, the stranger whom you have not vetted, qualified or even verified they are whom they said, starts asking you questions about your daily routine. Because you are focused on saving money on a commission you begin telling a complete stranger why you are selling your home, where you have purchased a new home, when you plan to move, all of which is not a good negotiation tactic. Then you unwittingly discuss the number of children you may have, whether you have a spouse and when they are available to make a decision in the selling process. You get so excited that someone, who seems nice is casing your home. Looking at all your family pictures, looking to see if you have any valuable / expensive art, electronics or jewelry laying around and access points – all with your help.


Your defenses are down because you think you are in the midst of a normal everyday conversation not realizing the amount of TRUST you have just bestowed in a perfect stranger. It’s not until you read an article like this or speak with a professional before you realize how vulnerable you have left you and your family. Now I don’t wish any harm to anyone and hope this is just the exaggerated imagination of a REALTOR® - but I know better and could tell you of some horror stories but that isn’t the purpose of this blog. I am trying to paint a picture for those that helps those that decide to sale their home on their own to focus on SAFETY!

It is vital that you focus on safety and not the few dollars you may save on a REALTOR® commission when a stranger knocks on your door and asks you to come in so they can see your home. Think about how dangerous a situation that can be. (which is bad in negotiations anyways).

Protect your investment: Follow these Safety Tips:

1. Secure all your valuables prior to allowing anyone to walk through your home. Best practice is to remove all cash, jewelry, expensive artwork, electronics, and all sensitive documents from your home completely prior to any walk-through or open houses, if feasible. 2. Do not allow anyone you don’t know into your home without a pre-approved scheduled appointment. Do not allow anyone who showed up unannounced into your home, no matter the reason. Schedule all appointments in advance, during daylight hours and early enough for you to properly vette all potential buyers. 3. Do not allow people you don’t know (strangers) to walk behind you when showing your home. Always know who is behind you. Do not allow anyone block your planned emergency escape route when showing your home. Be extra cautious when walking up stairs to a second floor or down to a basement. 4. Do not give personal information to strangers. When talking to potential buyers, avoid providing personal information, i.e., phone numbers, email addresses, work schedules, exit times, arrival times, who lives with you, planned vacations, planned moving days etc. 5. Do not plaquette anyone who lingers around your home asking lots of questions. Remember, you have not vetted this person(s) like a REALTOR® would have prior to allowing them into your home. If the conversation becomes uncomfortable – i.e., asking too many personal questions or inappropriate conversation for the limited interaction and occasion, end the conversation and ask the person to leave. SAFETY FIRST!


6. Have a planned exit strategy. In the event something does happen while showing your home that makes you feel unsafe, it’s important to have planned an exit strategy 7. Trust your instincts… If it does not feel right, it probably isn’t right and never allow anyone between you and your planned exit route 8. Never allow anyone in your home without telling a third party of your scheduled showing(s). Notify a neighbor, friends, siblings, family member etc. 9. Know the people you are going to allow to see your home. Set up some sort of vetting process whereby you can verify who they are and are qualified to purchase your home. 10. Require ID from all visitors and ask them to sign in so you can keep track of all those that entered your home



11. Do not allow children to open the door or answer any questions of strangers outside adult supervision 12. Don't advertise that you're going on vacation or move out date – especially on social media 13. Make sure you have a security operational and in good working order. Security cameras to the cloud may be sufficient. 14. Turn on outside lights and keep doors locked at all times. Make sure you lock all entry doors as you escort the potential (vetted) buyers through your home.


15. Make sure you have someone with you during all showings

16. Do not leave vulnerable people alone with strangers / do not allow anyone roam through your home unattended

17. When marketing your home, be cautious in using photos that may have expensive electronics, jewelry, fine china, artwork or even family members. 18. Verify references from potential buyers prior to letting them in your home 19. Always keep your cell phone of wireless house phone with you during all showings. Have emergency numbers handy 20. Be cautious of over-sharing on social media. Do not advertise price of home or expensive amenities… do not announce open houses



If you are For Sale by Owner – FSBO and feel uncomfortable with any of the extra steps suggested in this blog post, it would be beneficial to contact your professional real estate agent, who provided you this advice. They have been trained to keep not only themselves safe but also to provide ways to protect your family and valuables throughout the selling process. A real estate professional can be an invaluable asset and will make sure to take the necessary steps to protect the homeowner and their family's well being. For example, they may secure a lockbox on the property that has access only to other real estate agents; anytime the lockbox is opened, the agent is notified. An extra layer of security can even be added by requiring a secondary code to open it. Furthermore, agents are trained to only show properties they know have been prequalified and verified as safe.

In conclusion, having a trustworthy real estate professional working with you during a sale or purchase can provide peace of mind and reassurance that your safety and privacy are always prioritized. But if you still think it best that you continue to advertise as a FSBO, please take note of the previous mentioned tips on safety, the amount of money saved on a real estate agent’s commission is not worth the risk of ignoring basic safety tips herein.

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