If you’re selling your home, you have enough to think about without worrying that your home isn’t safe, or that your things may be stolen.
Yet, whether from open houses or scheduled showings, strangers are coming and going in your house all the time. By taking a few safeguards, you can ensure that you don’t need to worry about such things and better protect your belongings in the long run.
Of course, the easiest solution is to remove valuable jewelry, fine art or collectables beforehand, storing them with a friend or family member. If that’s not an option, then find a place to hide valuables in the home or keep them with you in a suitcase and take the suitcase 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. And don’t forget the medicine cabinets, as this is often an area that people steal from.
You should always keep your doors and windows locked and when returning to the home following a showing, double-check that they remain secure. 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 involves people coming to the house multiple times and bringing a new person with them, who explores 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 moving 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 in which you’re not currently living, consider installing motion sensors that will automatically turn on lights when it’s 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 an eye on your place. It’s always a good idea to introduce neighbors to your REALTOR® so they know things are OK when the agent is on the premises.
By taking a few extra precautions, you can feel safe and secure during a home sale.