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Seller Safety: Tips for Safe Home Showings and Sales

Seller Safety: Tips for Safe Home Showings and Sales

The mere decision to sell your home is enough to bring on unwanted stress. So, the last thing you want to worry about during the sales process is the safety of your home and your belongings.

When you list a home on the market, typically a real estate agent will either show your home privately to potential buyers who show an interest or they may open your home to many possible buyers during an open house. However, when a home is publicly listed, it can sometimes attract people who are not simply interested buyers, but actually are just nosy passersby or, worse yet, ill-intentioned individuals.

To ensure personal safety and the protection of valued items, there are a few things that sellers can do to prepare for showings:

Book ‘Em

As an eager seller, it can be hard not to show your home as much as possible, even in cases where people may just want to stop in when driving by. But, for safety’s sake, it is important to make sure you allow your real estate agent to schedule appointments and hold potential buyers to their scheduled times.

Another plus to listing with an agent is that they will likely verify that potential buyers are truly interested in your home and obtain some important information from them, like their name and contact information.

Go on Lock Down

You don’t need to stow away all of your personal belongings or go into hiding before your agent shows your home to potential buyers, but it is a good idea to lock up some valuable items, like  credit cards, cash or jewelry. You also may want to remove any visible keys or mail that may reveal your identity. If you keep prescription drugs out, it may be a good idea to lock them away while your home is being shown, too. Simply keeping these items out of sight may be sufficient or you may want to lock them in a safe during showings.

Once everything inside is locked up, don’t forget to be mindful outside. In most cases, a real estate agent will attach a lock box to your front door while they are showing your home. Usually, that lock box will contain a key to your front door, so only your agent should have access to the passcode or combination to open the lock box and obtain the key. Potential buyers should not have access to enter your home through any other door. Once a showing or open house has ended, it is a good idea to check all windows and doors to make sure that they are locked.

Shine the Spotlight on Them

For multiple reasons during a home showing, you want to keep your home well-lit. Of course, a brightly-lit home looks more appealing and spacious, but it is also an excellent safety feature, particularly if you have an evening showing. Bright indoor lighting will also allow your agent to keep visitors within sight while they tour your home.

The same rule applies two-fold outdoors. For starters, you will want to provide a safe environment for potential buyers to enter your home, so they will appreciate a well-lit sidewalk and entryway. Adequate lighting may also deter any nosy onlookers from snooping through your home.

Use the Buddy System

If you notice someone repeatedly driving by your home or stopping to knock on your door to inquire about the sale and you cannot help but answer or approach them, make sure that you have a cell phone within reach, just in case you need to call your agent with an immediate offer and for safety’s sake.

It is also a good idea to let trusted neighbors know when you have scheduled showings or an open house. Not only will they be able to keep an eye on your home, they may be able to give you an eye-witness account of how your showing went!

Reserve Your Right to Remain Silent

While you are going to disclose all pertinent information about your home to your real estate agent, you do not need to divulge personal details about your schedule or daily life. Potential buyers or passersby do not need to know when you will be home or away. They certainly do not need any information about your home security or alarm settings.

Finally, selling your home is an exciting process and erring on the side of caution will only make that process a little safer.