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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, September 13, 2019

Safety protocols to expect when working with a Realtor




In a few days, the National Association of Realtors will release its 2019 Member Safety Report, which surveys Realtors around the nation about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences and the safety procedures and materials provided by their real estate brokerage.

This report is released each September during Realtor Safety Month. Yet safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors all year long.

In previous years, a small but noticeable amount of respondents reported they experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information.

Realtors understand better than anyone the safety risks associated with real estate transactions, so it’s imperative to create and share safety protocols with home buyers so they can learn about what they may encounter when working with a Realtor.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is committed to protecting home buyers and sellers and their personal items by making sure they have the resources and education to stay safe and secure.

Here are some safety protocols and guidelines that consumers should expect and keep in mind when working with a Realtor and to ensure a safe experience for all parties involved.

Meet your agent at their office

Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a Realtor might set-up the initial meeting at their office. Most people agree that meeting at a real estate professional’s office is much more comfortable and appropriate for the first meeting. Generally speaking, meeting a stranger at an unknown location can be an uneasy notion – and this is no different for that initial real estate transaction.

Secure your personal information

Your agent might make copies of your driver’s license and mortgage preapproval letter for their records. This allows the agent to store a record of your information at their office in a secure place. So, be sure to have these items on hand for your initial meeting.

According to the 2016 Member Safety Report, 69% of real estate offices have standard procedures for safeguarding client data and information. Keeping this information safe and secure is a crucial step in maintaining a safe agent and client relationship.

Avoid carpooling

When viewing a property, your agent might ask you to drive separately. This is a safety precaution for you and your Realtor – so don’t feel offended. Most people don’t pick up hitchhikers, so you can understand the importance of not transporting strangers to a property showing. Driving separately is also important, as many times, you or the agent will have an appointment to go to afterward.

Also, your agent might walk behind you. Realtors typically let potential buyers take the lead when exploring a home. This is a common safety protocol that also allows you to view each room on the property first and make your own impressions.

View vacant properties during the day

Your Realtor might show vacant properties only during the day, so you can see what safety hazards exist, such as loose floorboards or any other defects. So, when viewing a vacant, or even an occupied property, expect to view it during daylight hours.

Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.