Photo credit: Mark Moz
With many agents showing and selling HUD homes today, it’s imperative for each agent to do their part to ensure that homes are secured and remain in a state in which health and safety concerns do not exist for the next agent showing the property.
Here are 7 ways you can help keep HUD homes safe, secure and marketable:
1) Always secure windows and doors before leaving the property. Unsecured homes pose great safety risks to anyone visiting the home and are more likely to fall victim to vandalism, stolen appliances and squatters. Before you leave, do a sweep of checking all windows and doors to be sure they are locked properly – and then double check if you think you might’ve missed something.
2) Always accompany your buyers to the home and stay with them until they are ready to leave. Leaving a buyer unattended poses a risk to the buyer inside the home and the property as well. Having authorized professionals accompany anyone visiting the property helps minimize unauthorized individuals from “dropping in”. By being present the entire time, you can also be sure to sweep the property for unsecured windows and doors and properly lock up the home.
3) Do not give out property keys to anyone. Authorized professionals will know how to obtain access to the property. Those individuals are the only ones who should access the properties and they should follow the established procedure for gaining access to HUD homes. Buyers should never be given lock box codes to access the properties themselves.
4) Always return keys to the property lock box. This ensures the key is available to other HUD Selling Agents and helps prevent keys from getting into the hands of unauthorized individuals.
4) Show properties during daylight hours. Utilities are not turned on in any HUD home on the market, outside of when a home inspection is being conducted, and that includes electricity. A showing that runs after dark can not only prove to be ineffective in properly showing the home, but can also make you and your buyer vulnerable to predators.
5) Take some time when you arrive at the property to check out potential dangers.
- Is anyone else inside or outside the property?
- Are there any safety hazards you should warn your buyer of before they tour the home? (loose gutter, loose or missing stairs and floorboards, trip/fall hazards, etc.)
- Are there any loose animals in or around the property?
- Is anyone loitering in the area?
- Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
- Can you be blocked in the driveway by another vehicle?
6) Always sign the sign in sheet. This let us know that you have visited the property and the time and date of your visit.
7) Health and Safety Issues and Vandalism – If you see it, report it. Each HUD contracted Asset Manager will have their own method of reporting health and safety issues and vandalism. Sage Acquisitions requests that a Vandalism/Change in Condition Report is filled out and emailed to the appropriate Vandalism Department. Download the form here.
A real estate agent’s line of work can make them susceptible to potentially dangerous situations. We should all do our part to help keep our agent community safe. More real estate agent safety tips from the National Association of REALTORS can be found here.
Click here for more information about HUD’s Showing and Advertising Guidelines.
Tags: HUD policies