7 Tips for Safe Open Houses & Showings

Your house has been listed and your realtor suggests an open house.  There are a few things you should know …

When you put your home on the market your real estate sales representative puts their full marketing plan into action and among the many methods of marketing your home is the open house.  For some, that should read, the dreaded open house.  Let me interject here that I really enjoy doing open houses, but I understand that some home owners really don’t like the idea of opening up their home to just anyone who wants to walk in off the street.

Your fears are not unfounded.  On May 22 in Halton Region a man stole $30,000 from an open house.  You can read about it in this Toronto Sun article.

Whether it’s an open house or just showings of your home while it is listed, here are 7 safety measures worth considering to prevent crime from coming to your doorstep.

Consider Security Cameras

The world of home security has become simpler than ever before.  Not that many years ago installing a security system was a complicated and costly venture.  Now, a quick visit to a local electronics store will take care of the job.  From video doorbells to camera systems, you’ll be able to monitor what’s going on in your home not only during open houses, but during showings of your home too.  One tip:  Be mindful when selecting locations for camera placement.  You’ll want to consider entry and exit points to the home and rooms where there may be items of value. If you’re uncertain of the best placement, ask your realtor, or contact your local police department for advice

Remove Valuables

When you are selling your home there will be many people coming through.  During showings potential buyers will be accompanied by a licensed real estate professional, but even so, during the time that your home is on the market it is best if you go through your home and remove any valuables and heirlooms.  **Remove all temptations** For things like expensive jewelry you may want to consider temporarily moving the items to a bank safety deposit box.  If removing valuables completely from the home doesn’t sit well with you, consider hiding them —- but don’t just put them in the underwear drawer!  Valuable items may include video game terminals, other electronic devices and even piggy banks! Keep your belongings safe.  The inconvenience is only temporary.  One other note — don’t leave that spare set of keys hanging inside the door or an extra garage door opener lying around.

Keep Prescription Drugs and Expensive Alcohol Out Of Sight

As with other valuables, you are advised to remove your prescription medications from their usual locations.  In addition, if you keep valuable collections of wine or other spirits on hand and on display you may want to consider packing them away while your home is being shown.

Be Aware Of Your Personal Life Being On Display

Take down the family calendar with names, times and locations of where your family will be.  In addition, make sure that mail, bills, personal papers and any documents which are important to you are tucked safely away from the public eye.  Remember, your personal information can be stolen without even being removed from your home.  One click of a smart phone camera is all it takes.  Keep it out of sight.

Choose a Trustworthy Realtor

Not all realtors are the same and some may not be worthy of your trust.  Be picky when choosing someone to work with you on the sale of your home.  Make sure attention is being paid to detail and that the security of your home and the safety and security of your family are being made priority.  Also, if you are opting to have your agent hold open houses you can make requests that make you feel more secure.  If your home is large or perhaps in a secluded location you can request that there be more than one agent present during the open house.  If your concern runs to who is coming in to your home during an open house, you can request that attendees show ID.  If an open house is very busy, you can request that only a few guests can come in at a time with the rest waiting their turn.  All realtors hosting open houses require guests to sign a registry in order to attend, but you as the home owner can make the request for enhanced security.  For regular home showings, know that by working with a licensed realtor, all showings of your home that are booked are done so through the brokerages, not the individual realtors, and no lockbox information is released until all aspects of the requested showing are validated and confirmed.

Make Sure Your Home Is Insured

Even the most well prepared people occasionally find themselves the victims of crime, so it is always advisable (not just while your home is on the market) to have an up-to-date homeowner’s insurance policy for damage, theft and injury for your property.  It is also wise to have a record of all of your valuables before the house showings.  Photos and videos are excellent in the event that you need to provide evidence.

Finally, Check That Your Home Is Secure After An Open House

The realtor hosting the open house should be checking the home before they leave to make sure that all windows and doors and sliding doors are closed and locked.  Know that occasionally the realtor hosting the open house is not the realtor you are working with.  Sometimes a colleague of your realtor will attend the open house in their place.  Your realtor will select someone they trust, but still, when you return home after the open house just do a quick walk-through of the house and make sure your home is safe and secured for your family.

Feeling safe and secure is a large part of what makes a house feel like a home.  Make sure that you are being made to feel as secure as possible throughout the process of selling your home.  You should always feel comfortable asking your realtor any questions you have surrounding any aspect of the sale of your home — and security should always be top of mind.

If you’re thinking of selling your home or you are looking to buy a home (or both) let’s get together and talk about it.  I will be sure to make the process as smooth as possible.

print Sharon Caddy49000Sharon Caddy

Sales Representative, Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc.

905-466-3585 (d)

905-272-3434 (o)  www.sharoncaddy.com

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