Keep Your Home Safe During an Open House
An open house is arguably one of the best ways to find potential buyers when selling a home. But opening up your home to complete strangers can be quite daunting and dangerous if you are not properly prepared. While you want to show your home at its best, you should also be wary of putting all your prized possessions out on display. These are our top tips to keep you, your home and all your possessions safe during an open house.
Before The Open House
1. Check what your insurance can cover you for – ask whether you are covered for property damage, theft, or any specific valuable items.
2. Ask your neighbors for help – whether you are hosting your own open house or a realtor is helping you sell your home, asking for help from neighbors is a good idea. Let them know when you plan to have your open house and if they can keep their eyes open for anything suspicious.
3. Put away personal items – things such as social security cards, financial statements, passports, extra keys, family calendars, and pictures of your family. Not only will this eliminate clutter which will help when selling your home, but it will also ensure that people with less than noble intentions won’t be able to access any information that could be used against you or used by burglars casing your home for future robberies.
4. Lock away liquor and prescription medication – you may not want to believe it, but the fact of the matter is that when you are selling your home and inviting strangers to view it there will be a few who will open up cupboards and drawers. So it is advisable to keep these substances away from prying eyes.
5. Pack away other valuables – the most targeted items include jewelry, money, electronic equipment, firearms, office equipment, clothes/furs, and artwork. Since you are selling your home anyway, you may as well pack these things up already. It will save you from having to do it later and it will also keep them safe during your showings.
6. Open curtains and doors – this will make your house brighter and more welcoming to potential buyers while simultaneously being a safety precaution. If your curtains and doors are open, it will make it more probable that someone outside your home will witness any theft or crime happening inside your home.
During The Open House
7. Safety in numbers – whether you are selling your home yourself or going through a realtor make sure that there is more than one trusted person in your home during an open house. This helps when there are big crowds of people viewing your home at once – groups can be split between realtors/home owners and assistants so that they are more manageable and they can be monitored when throughout their tour. Also, if you are showing a home on your own you open yourself up to an attack.
8. Don’t let strangers into your home without an appointment – this follows on from the previous point as it is unsafe and unwise to let a stranger into your home when you are alone. Be wary of someone trying to gain access to your home by dressing in a nice suit or bringing a child along and pretending that they are a potential buyer who is unable to make the usual viewing times. Ask them to call your agent to make an appointment for a time that suits them and the agent.
9. Ask your agent to pre-qualify any visitors – the great thing about selling a home through an agent and asking them to set-up all appointments and open houses is that they have the resources to pre-qualify any potential visitors and buyers ensuring that they are financially able to meet your asking price but also safeguard you and your home from any unsavory persons trying to take advantage of an open house.
10. Have a visitors’ registry – ask all visitors to sign a registry before entering your home and provide some sort of photo ID such as a drivers license. It is also a good idea to take down their contact details and license plates.