It can happen when a potential buyer looking through a home has an unfortunate accident and ends up with a significant injury. If an injury occurs during an open house or a private showing it can be confusing to determine who is responsible for making the situation right.
No matter who is ultimately found at fault it can be a big headache if a buyer who has sustained an injury tries to seek reimbursement from you as a homeowner. In a majority of cases, it is not found to be the selling party’s fault but there are some things you can do to avoid injury and headache while people are touring your home.
Common causes and types of injury during home showings and open houses
Slip and fall injuries. It is not uncommon for a slip or fall to happen while a buyer is distracted looking at a feature of the home they really love. This can happen when walking upstairs or even at a transition in the flooring where there is a strip between the two types of flooring that can catch someone’s foot. It could even happen if a floor is slick or wet.
The best way to remedy the potential for tripping and falls is to make sure that items like rugs or exposed cords that could cause trips are removed. You can also make sure that certain areas are communicated to watch their step by making realtors aware. You could also use reflective tape in certain areas to draw attention to potential areas for tripping.
Additionally, you could request that any person coming to look at the home keeps their shoes on. If you tend to have a no-shoes inside policy it may be worth it to change this until you sell your home as removing shoes and walking around in socks and bare feet increases the chances of an unfortunate accident. For example, if you have hard surface floors it is much easier to slip and fall when you are dressed and wearing socks.
Scared or nervous animals react unpleasantly. It has happened before where a home owner’s pet has been left to roam the property freely and the homeowner believes that their pet is easy-going and able to handle strangers in the home. Unfortunately, some pets have surprised homeowners and become scared or nervous and then protective ending in injury to a stranger.
In everybody’s best interest pets should either be brought with you or kept within a safe contained space that buyers are not allowed to access. Though we love our furry family members nobody else is going to love them in the same way that we do. It is always best to have your pets out of the way during showings and open houses.
Trying to gain access to an area. Buyers can be nosy and as such want to see every single area of the home. An initial showing or an open house is not the time to ask for access to the crawlspace or hop on the roof. This may sound ridiculous but several buyers have attempted to get into these types of spaces during these times.
Make sure that your realtor has communicated clearly what areas will be able to be accessed during an inspection but are off-limits during an open house or private showing. Realtors are aware of etiquette that is common when bringing buyers to look at a home for sale but unfortunately not every realtor plays by the common etiquette rules. If you know that you will be having an open house you may want to ensure that certain areas are secure that require extra care to access.
For more information on real estate in San Tan Valley please contact us anytime. I would love to help you find a home in Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Sun Lakes as well as all the neighborhoods surrounding Mesa and the Valley.