On life insurance forms they ask about sky diving, bungie jumping but there is no space to check about selling real estate.All Realtors, brokers, agents can have many accidents and get injured on the job in their day to day in and out of homes, around farm, woodland, waterfront listings and property showings. Especially when you add cold weather and ice, dark early in the day conditions for a place with no power on. Be careful, move slowly and look out for a few common accidents at the property. Things I have learned over 30 years of listing, marketing, selling Maine real estate include the following easy four areas to watch out for and get good at spotting.
ONE You're inside a home, in the dark of winter with a flashlight showing a vacant property or seeing it for the first time while listing it. As you approach stairway to the cellar, remember you have one light on a flashlight you remembered to hopefully bring as you head in to the cellar that is darker than the inside of a cow. As you head down the stairway that may or may not have a railing, assume lots of items are on those steps or in the case of a water plumbing freeze up like a foreclosure, repo where the owners high tailed it for Arizona or Florida leaving their Maine snow shovel behind, that those steps are slippery, icy. And you can not see so well with the no power, sun going down and one little hand held light guiding the way. The same lantern your kids played flashlight tag with last that is a very dim orange yellow thanks to cold temperatures and tired batteries. If your feet slide out and even if you grab a railing if there is one to catch yourself, you just ripped, tore a shoulder rotator cup, chipped an elbow on the steps or worse as you nearly break your neck.
And with customers...what was the number again of your insurance policy and your agent that carries the coverage?Hatches propped up that open stairways to the cellar from outside can blow shut in a strong wind and leave a nice temple gash that may or may not knock you out. But the egg on the side of your head will remind you that it can happen and does but you did not see it coming the first time at your first real estate rodeo.
TWO When you successfully navigate to the cellar, say in the spring, if you hear water running and it's over the bottom two cellar steps, here is "accident waiting to happen" second warning to be aware of. The spring thaw in a wet basement with a sump pump not doing it's job means thoughts of electrocution, major shock. As you look for the drain, or the cord to plug in the pump wondering about the furnace burner under water that has juice to it, extension cords with live ends floating like lethal shock snake images rotate around in your head. Do you lose the shoes, socks and roll up the pant legs to head over to study the situation? To turn off water spurting from a broken pipe that froze from lack of heat in a foreclosure that ran out of oil before DR REALTOR entered the property operating room? You want to stop the damage but how do you feel about electrocution, or living but being paralyzed and in a shock damaged state, condition the rest of your life?
THREE The pitbull or rotweiler sleeping in the front room that you discover waking up as you open a door with customers to show when you did give the renter or owner a day's warning about the showing.
No one told you about the large dogs. No one text messaged, emailed or left a note, called Rover, Fido or Spike about the showing either.So you find yourself in a boxed canyon when he wakes up. You go "deer in the headlights" and start rapidly thinking about back peddling but held in place in the small narrow hall by the half dozen member family you are showing the place to all roadblocked behind you like a log jam. This is not good. And you the real estate broker are the lead reindeer on the property tour.
Not good and how many stitches and how many people receiving them and a tetanus shot is the next scene that plays out in the REALTOR's projector now showing on the back side of the inner skull of that agent, broker.
Other animals to be careful with too as we list, sell Maine farms. And know that horse with its ears back is ready to kick or bite. It's another area with animals being part of the showing process to be careful about and make sure one of the buyer's kids is not pulling a tail, teasing and going to get hurt. Read the body language of the animals, not just the real estate buyer too during the property showing process.
FOUR Decks that look safe but are rotten. Porches and steps that are ready to collapse. Be careful where you step, how you tread. Going thru a rotten deck floor and breaking a leg or getting an infection from the scrape, cuts is another sure "we're not buying this house Linda" whisper from the home buyers. If they were warned and kept out of the dangerous areas it's one thing with a Handyman Blue Light Special property home that's dirty but nice. Cheap and a repo, foreclosure home. But you are an agent, broker to show property not injure yourself or your customers. Add more death traps to avoid that you run in to in your travels of listing, marketing, selling real estate, your local properties. What other hazards or dangers do you see in your real estate day to day?