Bad news travels fast. So the real estate industry was in an uproar this week over the kidnapping and murder of an Arkansas agent. Most days, agents go about their business without a thought for REALTOR safety. They show homes to people they’ve never met before. They go on listing appointments to view property with home owners they don’t know from Adam.
It’s a job that has the potential for danger, even though we push those thoughts to the back of our minds.
Why do agents ignore the risks?
Because, in today’s world of information at our fingertips in micro seconds, home buyers tend to think that they should be able to see any home, every home, at the drop of a hat. And they get nasty when an agent begins to ask them some basic qualifying questions.
Please. Don’t do this.
Home owners have an expectation that when they make the beds, clean up the house, turn on the lights and open the curtains before leaving for an hour or more, that the people coming through their house are, at a minimum, qualified for a mortgage loan or have proved that they have the cash to buy.
Agents have an expectation (or they should) that their buying clients are willing to take the necessary steps to get pre-approved or to have their banker prove they have the necessary funds to write an offer.
“It won’t be a problem” or “I have plenty of cash” is not worth the paper it’s (not) written on.
None of this is designed to offend anyone.
None of this is done to question your integrity.
Some of the questions that agents ask are for their own safety.
Would you meet a stranger in a vacant house on just their word that they are a real buyer? Probably not.
So please don’t be offended if one of our agents asks questions before agreeing to meet with you.
I’d say it’s not personal, but it is. It’s personal safety.
And if you think that makes us bad people, we might not be the agency you want to work with.