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Home Safe Home: Ways to Protect Your Personal Items While Your Home is “For Sale”

Home Safe Home: Ways to Protect Your Personal Items While Your Home is “For Sale”

When you put your home up for sale, you’re ready to welcome in prospective buyers who have a serious interest in making a purchase. Unfortunately, potential buyers are not the only people who may be taking an interest in your home and what’s inside. Your “for sale” sign may attract nosy neighbors, passersby or, worse yet, uninvited guests with a not-so-honest watchful eye on your personal belongings.

What can you do to protect your home and your personal items while that “for sale” sign is out front? Here are a few precautions to take:

1. Stow your valuables. As a rule of thumb, while you’re preparing to sell your home, stash away valuable items like jewelry, money and even prescription drugs. You don’t have to pay for off-site storage, but you may want to put your valuables in a locked safe. You certainly don’t want to leave this week’s pizza money sitting out on the counter when strangers are touring through your home. You may even want to take laptops, tablets and other easily-removed electronics out of plain sight.


2. Don’t go it alone! Let your trusted real estate agent be the only person to show your home to prospective buyers who properly schedule an appointment. Even if you’re planning to list your home as “for sale by owner,” never show it alone. Always have a friend or family member there with you when you are expecting prospective buyers. You’ll feel safer, plus they can help you make sure you show off your home’s best assets.


3. Make appointments mandatory. When you’re selling your home, you never want to turn away a prospective buyer, because what if they are “the one?” Well, “the one” will be happy to schedule an appointment to tour your home. Never let anyone into your home who shows up unannounced. Serious buyers will make an appointment… seriously!


4. Give out those digits. Not only should you have someone with you when you’re showing your home, it is also a good idea to share the confirmed visit list, complete with prospective buyers’ contact information, with an off-site friend or family member. Take one step further by carrying your cell phone and checking in with that person after each visitor shows up. Though it may seem like a bit much, it may even be a good idea to ask a neighbor to jot down the license plate numbers of your visitors. Remember, it is all about showing your home safely.


5. Schedule daytime showings. Safety aside, when you show your home during the daytime, you’re sure to capitalize on the maximum amount of daylight, which will help everything in your home appear a little bigger and brighter! When it comes to keeping you and your belongings safe, more visibility is always a plus. If possible, have your real estate agent show your home during the daytime only. If you must show your home at night, be certain to keep all blinds and curtains open. Also, keep your home well lit, indoors and out.


6. Put a method in place. Because real estate agents show many homes, they’ve often got it down to a science. When someone is touring through a home, it is much safer to let them lead or to lead them with phrases like “Check out the master bedroom and bathroom ahead,” rather than letting them lag behind by themselves. On the same token, you don’t want to follow your prospective buyers around, but you do want to be aware of where they are in your home at all times.


7. Install a security system. Many homes already are equipped with security cameras or alarm systems. You don’t want to scare prospective buyers away by setting off safety alarms, but you can utilize your home security technology for your own safety while that “for sale” sign is sitting out front.  

Finally, remember that most people who enter your home while it is for sale have a genuine interest in seeing your home to possibly purchase. However, the fact remains that you never can be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself, your home and your personal belongings. So, for safety’s sake, take a few extra precautions before setting up that “for sale” sign!