The Scary Things That Can Happen During A Home Showing.
5 Tips To Keep You And Your Home Safe.
Selling your home is a very exciting time, but not everyone who crosses the threshold of your door has the best intentions when entering it. With Halloween being right around the corner, I thought I’d share some of the scary things that can happen during a home showing and some tips to keep you and your home safe.
May I Take A Look Inside?
So, you are outside mowing your lawn on a Sunday afternoon, and a young couple keeps driving by your home slowly. You figured they must have noticed the “For Sale” sign in the yard. This young cute couple seems very interested in your home and stops you to ask, “I saw you have your home for sale, We have been looking in your neighborhood for some time, may we take a look inside?” As simple a request this might be, this is a big “No-No.” The best answer to give them, even though it may be tempting to let them in, is to simply say “Sure, but you’ll have to contact my REALTOR® to schedule all appointment.” This way you will know who’s coming into your home if they have been pre-approved and if their intentions are truly on the up & up and they’re not just casing the place for more malicious activities.
2. The Feeling Is High.
In my home, I have learned over the years that if you have unused medications you can’t just pitch them in the garbage. So over time, I’ve amassed quite a collection of prescription drugs that would make any street hustler jealous. This is the very thing that would make people who are not in the right state of mind want to steal. The best practice is to either have these put somewhere inconspicuous or in some kind of locked closet, not easily accessible. If you need to get rid of old medications you can bring them to your pharmacy and they know the proper way to dispose of them. (I had two large ziplock freezer bags full when I walked into my local pharmacy and they didn’t even blink an eye when I told them that I needed to get rid of them)
3. Mail, Bills And Other Important Information.
Most people come home and toss bills on the counter. This is the kind of information that people can use to steal your credit card information or even worse, your identity. When your home is listed, be sure to have all paperwork like old tax returns, social security cards, credit card statements, and banking information put away. Again, a locked cabinet would be best. (Money and jewelry should NEVER be left out)I personally have a safety deposit box at my local bank for these type items.
4. You Have Heard De-Clutter; What About De-Personalize?
I have spoken many times about de-cluttering the home, but you are going to want to de-personalize as well. (To read about de-cluttering click here https://goo.gl/sWQCSp) Depersonalizing your home is all about neutralizing, or removing your personality from your house so that buyers can mentally see themselves moving in. The reason you would want to do this is for safety reasons as you don’t want strange people possibly taking treasured pictures of your family and delving into your personal life. Other people can be very invasive, and you don’t want to give them any ammunition.
Speaking of ammunition, I’m pretty sure this goes without saying, but DO NOT leave any handguns, pistols, hunting equipment or ammunition in any area of the home that people can get a hold of it, or even see it. Again, a locked cabinet would be best for these type items.
5. The Eagle Eye.
The world we live in now, it’s not uncommon to see homes with security cameras inside and out. This is great for the security of your home when you have showings. Please bear in mind your states privacy laws when installing security cameras and/or voice recording.
These are just a few tips to help you keep your family safe during the time you have your home listed. Be sure you discuss with your REALTOR® the way your home will be shown as far as the lockbox they will be using. The old-fashioned combo code type lockboxes are not the most secure way to retrieve keys for showings. I personally only use Supra Lockbox that gives me a report of who has opened the lockbox to retrieve the keys. This is an added layer of security to you as the home seller and also lets me know if the agents did actually preview the property. I do this for my clients “Because YOU Matter”.
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana