Selling a home can be a bigger risk than you think

Tips on how realtors and homeowners can protect themselves

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a devastating discovery in Arkansas overnight when Beverley Carter’s body was found in a shallow grave not far from Little Rock. The real estate agent was showing a home when she disappeared Thursday.

Realtors across the country, who frequently meet strangers in empty homes, were shaken by the tragedy. “Everybody said what we should do to prevent something like this from happening,” said Joanne Papadimitriou of Keller Williams Pioneer Valley.

Papadimitriou has been working in the industry for two decades. She always tries to meet prospective buyers at the office first. If they can’t, she’ll bring a friend to the showing. She’ll also park in the street as to not get blocked in by another car.

“Take a picture of their license plate. Text it to the office and say to the person you’re meeting, the prospective buyer, this is our policy. We have to send your license plate in so they know who we’re meeting,” said Papadimitriou.

Real estate agents don’t just have to think about protecting themselves throughout the process; they also have to look out for the safety of their clients.

22News is working for you with ways to stay safe if you’re looking to sell your home. Put away anything that could be tempting: prescription medication, jewelry, and especially photos.

According to Papadimitriou, “Sellers think it’s because you don’t want people to think oh I can’t picture myself because of all these pictures. No it’s a safety issue. You don’t want someone who’s going to do harm to know who lives in that house. Oh, there are two little girls who live here. What can I do to get in here?”

Keep your doors and windows locked between showings, and never allow a stranger inside who may knock and say they missed the open house.

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