Congratulations! You made the big decision to sell your home. You’ve spent your weekends getting your treasure ready for the big day when it finally hits the market.
You’ll soon open your doors to dozens, if not hundreds of wonderful people. Unfortunately, it may also attract less desirable visitors. Your real estate agent understands this and will take precautions on your behalf. As a home seller though, there are things you can do as well.
Here’s a great Home Seller Safety Tips infographic from the California Association of Realtors followed by six additional home seller safety tips:
Beware of unexpected visitors coming to your doorstep
It’s tempting, but you should never show your home by yourself, without a scheduled showing by your agent. Not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. If someone approaches your home without an appointment, refer them to your real estate agent.
Caution should also be taken if someone visits your home for the second time, unannounced and during an odd hour. Sure, it’s exciting to see a familiar face. You’re thinking, oh they must be really serious (kind of like a second date, right?). Unfortunately their intentions could be threatening.
As a child, my home was robbed by the telephone repairman who came back to our house because he thought he left his tools behind. When in reality he was scoping out our home and my mom’s schedule who very innocently shared “I was just on my way out to pick up the kids from school.” That’s exactly what he wanted to hear.
Be smart about your lockbox
Lockboxes have been used for eons to provide safe and convenient access to homes for sale. Still, you might want to think about removing the key from your lockbox at night, and asking your agent about changing the code periodically.
Pay attention to the pattern of arrivals
At an open house, be alert to the pattern of visitors’ arrivals, especially near the end of showing hours. The National Association of Realtors highlights that in some areas, a group of thieves will show up together near the end of the open house and, while a string of “potential buyers” distracts the agent, the rest of the group walks through the house, stealing any valuables they come across.
Consider extra monitoring especially for vacant homes
Some real estate agents are taking an extra step with some of their properties, particularly vacant ones, and talking to sellers about installing a wireless security system. A company called the Vacant Property Specialists offers wireless, motion-activated monitoring systems specifically for the monitoring of vacant properties. According to their website, these monitoring systems do not require the use of electricity, and are easily installed in vacant and abandoned properties to monitor unwarranted entry, crime and the presence of squatters.
Be mindful of photos and videos being taken
It’s common for visitors to take photographs, even video of your home. But permission should always be asked and granted first. Pay attention to what is being photographed. Are they admiring the flow from the kitchen to the dining room, or grandma’s Noritake china set?
Follow up for safety
After a showing, the real estate agents who show your home should do a walk through to make sure nothing was taken. They should also close and lock all windows and doors before exiting your home. Be sure to double check or ask a trusted neighbor to be your eyes and ears when you’re not around. Be especially careful to lock your home as you come and go during the time it’s on the market.
As we enter the busy spring market, it’s important for realtors and home sellers alike to think about safety. Follow these safety tips for added security and peace of mind. Selling your home is an exciting time, but when it comes to your family’s safety, you can never be too vigilant.
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