|Safety tips, especially in known crime areas in Trinidad and Tobago:
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- For your own safety never set an appointment with anyone to see your home unless they have given you their name and number and you have called back to verify that number. An easy way to do this is to say, "Let me check with my husband/wife for the best time and I will call you back." Even if you are not married.
- Never let potential buyers know your schedule.
Don't ever tell them when you won't be at home, when your spouse won't be home, when you pick up the children, when you work, when you will be on vacation, etc. Never give a caller information about your home's security such as deadlock bolts, security systems, and so forth.
- Always have a back-up plan when you allow strangers into your home, especially if you have children. Have a neighbour look out for you until the lookers have gone.
- Never let a stranger into your house without seeing some identification. If the person says (s)he is a Real Estate Agent, ask for a card then call his/her office to verify the information if you don't recognize the person.
- Keep a log of everyone who's looked at your house. Get their name, telephone number, address, car description, license plate number, and any additional information that could be helpful in the event of a future burglary. All of these people would be suspects.
- If you make a flyer to advertise your home, don't include any information that might breech security.
- Remove from sight all valuables including jewelry, silverware, and collections. A good Real Estate Agent screens all potential buyers through a thorough pre-qualification process before they let anyone into a listed home.
- Never leave strangers alone and watch their every move while they're in your home.
- One of the latest scams (even though it is US based, we should still be on the lookout here), according to a Real Estate magazine I read recently involves prescription drugs. A nice looking, clean-cut couple will make an appointment to view your house. When they get inside, one of them will ask to use the bathroom and will search for prescription drugs while in there. There is a huge market for such drugs. So make sure your prescription drugs are well hidden before anyone looks at your home.
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