Safety As You Sell Your Home
Posted March 8th, 2016 by Clarissa Gregg

We are often asked by the sellers we assist whether it is safe to have an open house and if we’ve ever heard of belongings disappearing while a home is on the market. While theft is extremely rare, it still makes sense to safeguard your home and yourself as people you don’t know walk through your property. Not only will it deter any potential thieves, but these tips will give you peace of mind as well.
First, if it matters to you, pack it away. Store jewelry, smaller electronics, sentimental items, art, and collectibles in boxes marked as something else or leave with a friend or family member. Make sure that medicines are kept somewhere that isn’t easily accessible, perhaps in a locked cabinet, while your home is being shown. Personal papers and records, including bank and account information and paperwork showing your social security number, are other items you want to get out of sight.
Second, keep your home secure. Make sure that doors and windows are locked, both before you leave for a showing and upon your return. Only agents with access to the key to your home and your agent’s lockbox should be entering the property. Sometimes, however, a window or door lock is forgotten as agents and buyers move on from your house to the next.
Keep track of who is coming and going from your home. Usually your real estate agent handles this by tracking the agents showing your home and having a sign-in sheet at open houses, but make sure you tell your agent this is important to you. If someone, an agent or a buyer, shows up at the house without an appointment, do not let them in. Ask them to contact your agent to schedule a showing.
If you go away on vacation or move out of the house before it sells, make it look like you are there. Consider using motion sensors or timers to turn on lights. Have a neighbor pick up your mail or any deliveries you are expecting.
Finally, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your home. If possible, introduce them to your agent so they are familiar with each other.
Remember to also make your real estate agent aware of your concerns and the steps you are taking to ensure your safety. They can help reinforce your efforts also.

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