The real estate industry must change its state of doing business. Every seller that I know expects that the buyer's agent who is showing the home has verified that the buyer is who they say they are. It is simply not true. Most agents do not check the driver's license of the buyer at the door. If you doubt that, ask yourself when was the last time that you showed your ID to an agent before you were let into someone else's home?
Due to the greed of real estate, the desperate drive for an all-or-nothing commission structure, the lack of standards in the profession and the lack of liability of the agent, there are not systems in place for agents to protect the property of the seller. Offices talk about safety, but frankly we as brokers and managers of the offices can not be with the agents while they are performing their job. We have to trust that they are doing a good job for the seller.
How can this change you might ask? First as a seller, you must secure your personal belongings. Wallets, checkbooks, jewelry, loose change, prescription medication, computers logged on with personal information, passports, purses and collectibles are just a few of the items that you will see on a routine basis left out by sellers. Sellers have to take the responsibility to protect their homes as well. After a showing make sure that every door and window is locked.
Most agents will do the courteous attempt of turning off all the lights, but if a buyer got away from the sight of the agent and unlocked a window or obscure door, the chances are, the agent will not re-lock them. You as the seller have to be aware that there are people out there with ill will.
Some sellers are worried about the access through the agent lock boxes. That is not the worry. The worry is that the agent that you have let into the home because you were home as appointment only does not know who the buyer is that they have bought to your home. The smart thing to do is, while you are at the door, ask the agent for their card and ask them if they have verified the ID of the buyer. That will at least start the ball rolling of consumers demanding that agent's d
Then, a seller, who may receive a showing while at home, should ask the agent for their business card and verify that they have seen and written down the information of the buyer. You must take matters into your own hands when you are dealing with your property. Being paranoid is good but taking action towards prevention is better.