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Protecting Your Home When It’s On The Market
There are very few times in your life when you will be open to having perfect strangers slowly drive by your home or walk through and look into your closets. However, this is part of having your home on the market. During this stage of the selling your home, it’s important to put safety practices into place to ensure that your home always stays secure. Many homeowners prefer to leave the home during the open houses and walkthroughs, as it gives potential buyers the freedom to provide honest feedback and check out the home without feeling pressured.
Before you let strangers walk through your home, follow these 7 steps to keep your home safe while it’s on the market:
1. Lock Up Your Valuables
If you have jewelry or other valuables visible, put them away in a safe place while you’re out of the home. There’s no way to keep an eye on every person who walks through your home, and it would be close to impossible to pinpoint the culprit hours after the open houses was over. Avoid this problem altogether by taking your valuables with you or locking them up.
2. Don’t Let Strangers In
During open houses, it can be easy to forget the rule of not letting strangers in, especially when an interested buyer sees the sign in your yard and comes knocking. Don’t let anyone in unless they have an appointment or are accompanied by a real estate agent. It’s always better to be safe and take precautions. Have them contact their agent (or yours) to see the home. If they’re really interested, they’ll schedule a showing.
3. File Away Financial Information
There’s no need to have bank statements, bills, or other financial information out in the open when a potential buyer is touring your home. In your everyday life, leaving money or utility bills out in the open is not an issue, but it could cause issues if you have random people walking through your home. Do a final inspection of your home before you leave to ensure all of your essential documents are hidden away. Don’t forget to tuck checkbooks away too.
4. Be Weary of Your Wifi
Many people have sticky notes around their home office or computer listing different usernames and passwords for their accounts. If a potential buyer came through and memorized this information, they could easily have access to some of your private accounts and information. Tuck this information away when you know someone will be touring your home.
5. Safety Check
Make sure your home is a safe place for people to walk through before anyone even walks through the door. Put down anti-slip mats near the walkways, especially if you’re in an area where people will be trekking through the rain and/or snow to get to your property. Make sure floorboards and other walkways are safe and free of tripping hazards, and that the home is well-lit.
6. Follow Their Footsteps
You may be in the habit of locking windows and doors of your home, but if a visitor opens the back door to check out the patio and then forgets to secure it, it could make you a target of future theft. After all the visitors have left, check windows and doors to ensure they are locked. Some potential buyers even turn on the stove or let the sinks run to make sure they’re in working order, so check these too to avoid disaster. Go into each room that you know visitors would have walked through to make sure everything is as it should be.
7. Extra Precautions
Having your real estate agent present during a walk-through or open house can serve as an extra set of eyes to keep tabs on the people walking through your home. While most walk through and open houses go off without a hitch, it doesn’t hurt to take certain precautions to avoid temptations for the rare guests who do come in with bad intentions. Other things you can do to keep your property and valuables safe while it’s on the market include:
- Make sure spare keys to the house, car, and safe aren’t out in the open.
- Consider installing a home security system (even though you won’t be there very long to use it, it could ease your mind during the listing process and also adds value to the home)
- If you have pets, take them with you as possible as to not distract/scare/bother visitors. If you can’t take them, consider putting them in a crate in a secluded area of the home.
Selling your home is an exciting time, but it also means you have a lot to think about. If you are proactive in keeping your home safe while it’s being listed, it will be one less thing you have to think about while handling the sale of your home.
How Jovi Realty Makes Selling Hassle-Free
When you list with Jovi Realty, you benefit from their years of experience in the real estate industry. Part of selling your home is making sure it is suitable for walk-throughs and open houses, which means making your home attractive to potential buyers while still keeping your personal space safe. We work with you to do a thorough check of the property before each tour of your home to make sure it’s safe and presentable. Contact us today to sell your home on your terms, with our help.