News & Information: Risk Management Resource

Playing It Safe

Tuesday, January 31, 2012  
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Think safety — it never hurts

Orlando REALTOR® | January/February 2012

By Donna Ashley

As real estate professionals, we need to keep safety and security top of mind at all times. How many have we found ourselves in situations such as:

A showing where the home is dark, dank, and in disrepair

This scenario is exacerbated by the sheer number of foreclosures on the market. If you come across such a home, be sure to inform the listing agent of risky conditions; some REO listing agents may never even see the inside of a home they list.

The condition of a property is out of showing agents’ hands unless it is disclosed in the listing (which it should be). We need to be on the alert for anything that could pose a hazard to you and your clients: mold, broken glass, rotten wood, airborne contaminants.

Go with your gut. If a situation feels unsafe, just get out!

A request to meet with a potential buyer or seller whose identity leaves question in your mind (especially for online inquiries)

If someone says they were referred to you by "So And So,” call So And So to confirm. Try Googling the potential clients’ name. If your gut is telling you something is off, take corrective measures! Either decline the meeting outright, or reschedule it to give yourself time to do proper research. Safety experts suggest that all initial meetings take place at your brokerage, with the worthy objective of learning more about their housing needs. Conveniently, initial meetings are also an opportunity to have new clients sign in and provide identification, activities that discourage those whose true intent is not to buy or sell a home.

Donna Ashley, Kumba Realty and Property Management, is a member of the ORRA Risk Management Committee. She can be reached at

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