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Personal Protection: Some Realtors Add New Weapon. Literally

NAR says about 1 out of 7 Realtors carries a firearm if working with a stranger, though men are more likely to carry a gun while women prefer pepper spray.

CHICAGO – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says about 14% of members carry a firearm to protect themselves when showing houses to complete strangers or listing houses for sellers they don’t know.

Male agents were more likely than female agents to carry a gun, with women overwhelmingly preferring to carry pepper spray.

Overall, the NAR survey found that half of all agents carry some kind of self-defense weapon, though only 38% took a self-defense class. Almost half were aware of crimes committed against their fellow professionals, but only 4% of said they’d actually been the victim of a crime.

Homeowners can also be real estate crime victims. NAR suggests that owners only show their home to buyers if their agent made an appointment with the seller’s agent first. If an unknown visitor shows up with someone who says they’re an agent, homeowners should ask for their business card and verify their identity before allowing them inside.

When preparing to hold an open house, homeowners should hide any bills or documents that contain personal information; hide additional keys, smartphones, laptops, checkbooks and other items; lock up or remove jewelry and prescription drugs; shut down or lock desktop computers; and make sure all windows and doors are locked after the open house ends. It’s also a savvy move to take pictures of the home before and after the open house to quickly identify anything that might be missing.

Source: Miami Herald (11/09/20) Sichelman, Lew

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