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Keeping Your Home Safe while on the Market
By Keith Loria
When you are in the process of selling your home, people are coming and going all the time—be it at open houses or through scheduled showings with your real estate agent. With so many strangers entering your house, it’s not uncommon to worry about safety or theft to some of your valuables.
By taking a few safeguards, you can ensure that you don’t need to worry about such things and better protect your belongings.
The easiest solution is to take any valuables like jewelry, fine art or collectables and store them with a friend or family member. If that’s not an option, then find a place to hide them in the home or keep them with you in a box and just bring it with you in the car every time you leave yourself.
This should also be done for personal information and file cabinets that may contain papers with your account numbers and/or social security information. Same holds true for medicine cabinets, as this is often an area that people could steal from.
You should keep your doors and windows locked at all times and when returning to the home from a showing, make sure that it is still the case. Often, prospective buyers will open windows or doors to make sure they work or to see another part of the home. Although it may seem far-fetched, there have been incidents where people unlock doors when looking at a home and go back later to steal things.
One tactic that some real estate agents have seen involve people coming to the house multiple times and bringing a new person with them who tries to look in rooms when the agent is being distracted.
“While one person has your attention, the other raids jewelry boxes and medicine cabinets for narcotics,” said Robert Siciliano, an ADT.com security consultant who offers real estate advice on his blog. “In high crime areas, consider hiring an off-duty police officer to watch the property during a showing. You can’t possibly watch everyone during an open house.”
It may seem like a silly time to install an alarm system since you will be leaving soon, but adding a security system will not only deter burglars but can also be a strong selling point of the house. People like safety features in the home.
If you are selling a home that you are not living in at the time, a good thing to do is install motion sensor lights that turn on automatically when it gets dark. You can also put a few lamps on a timer so it appears someone is home when you’re out.
Reach out to your neighbors as well and ask them to keep notice of anything suspicious. It’s always a good idea to introduce them to your REALTOR® so they know things are ok if they are spotted in the house.
By taking a few extra precautions, you can feel safe and secure during a home sale.
For more advice on selling your home, contact our office today.