Imagine you invite a complete stranger into your home and give them almost unlimited access to every room, all while you’re not there. It sounds like a crazy scenario, right? That exact scenario is what will happen when you list your home for sale. Completely strangers will walk through your door and imagine living in your home and the majority of sellers think nothing of it. The idea that a “for sale” sign out front provides you with a sense of security is one that you should re-examine.
The majority of potential home buyers are legitimate and looking for nothing more than to find their new home but there are those people who look for an opportunity to take advantage of the access a home for sale provides. With that in mind, we have five home selling safety tips for you to follow when your house goes on the market.
Valuables. This is the most obvious tip. Secure your jewelry, computers, hard drives, cameras, and any other items that are either valuable or irreplaceable. Some sellers choose to take these items out of the house for each showing while others will ask a trusted family member or friend to hold on to them until the house is off the market.
Medications. Prescription medication abuse is a serious and fairly common form of drug abuse. It’s best to secure any prescriptions behind lock and key or remove them from your home during showings. Many prescriptions are difficult to replace before the next refill is due because of laws designed to prevent abuse. Other over the counter and behind the counter medications can be used to make street drugs and you may want to consider hiding these with prescription medications as well.
Personal Information. In addition to making your house look neat and clean, you should file away any paperwork that has credit card numbers, billing information, and identifying information to deter anyone who may be tempted to commit fraud using your name. You should also put away information related to your children’s schools or daycare.
Showings. All showings should be scheduled through your Realtor’s office. Never allow a person into your home that you weren’t expecting or who simply knocks on your door after seeing the sign in your front yard. All potential buyers should be accompanied by a Realtor during a showing.
Protect the Buyer. Make sure your home is free from obstructions that may cause injury to any visitors. Sidewalks and driveways should be level, bushes should be trimmed back from doorways, and pets should be secured in a crate or taken out of the home during showings, for the safety of both the buyer and your pet.
If you ever feel that a situation isn’t right, call your Realtor right away. Being cautious is always the safest course of action.