Having people parading through your personal space can be unnerving, but you’ve got to get through that part in order to sell your house. But you don’t have to open yourself up to danger or hardship, either, by opening your house to random strangers with no precautions. When your home is listed on the market, your agent will schedule open houses and showings, but you may also discover a lock box scenario where other agents can access the key to show your home while you’re not there. To avoid having things going missing or to prevent possible dangers or mishaps, try to think ahead, prepare in advance, and think in terms of safety and security.
Your Absence is Requested
As odd as it sounds, it’s best for you not to be home during showings. Your household members should also be out of the house, as should the pets. To be clean, the house should be completely empty when shown. There are several reasons empty houses show best. Here are a few.
People tend to speak freely when touring houses for sale, as if they’re suddenly on a reality television show voicing design opinions on million dollar properties. Quite frankly, they can be offensive and make distasteful comments best not heard by you.
As a safety feature, it’s best if the identity of you and other household members are kept private.
Animals can be dangerous to people; people can be dangerous to animals, and there are some cases where animals and people just don’t get along. Some people have pet allergies. To avoid unwanted dog bites, cat scratches, accidental property damage from frightened animals, or other unsavory events, find a safe place for the critters to hang out on the days your real estate agent is showing your house.
Lock it Down to Open it Up
Leave only one port of entry during an open house. Lock windows and doors prior to showings, and then check them all again at day’s end before calling it a night.
Consider having a sign-in sheet and/or an i.d. check from viewers so you know who has been on the property.
When staging, you depersonalized, but this is the time to verify there are no pictures of the faces of any of the household members. Protect the members of your household by making sure their names and faces are not visible to strangers in the house.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
You may not be able to take your heirloom or expensive jewelry with you every time you leave your house, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave it at home in a jewelry box on the dresser in your bedroom when you know strangers are examining every nook and cranny of your living space. In a perfect world, you’d have a safe in a discreet place with a secure lock. However, if you don’t have a safe, choose one area of the home that is off limits – one locked room that is secure.
No Room for Misfires
Take weapons off of the property during showings. If they’re not in the building, there can be no accidents. People will bring children to open houses and those children do sometimes wander off unsupervised.
Guard the Wine
In a perfect world, you’d never have to worry about someone snatching your belongings during an open house, but the world is far from perfect and it’s super easy to slip a bottle of fine wine into a big purse. Chances are, it would never happen – but in that off-chance that it should, lock up the good stuff and leave the cheap juice out for staging purposes.
Selling your house can feel inconvenient, especially when it means opening your home to the prying eyes and bold opinions of others. You don’t want to complicate matters by having precious belongings go missing, valuables being stolen, trinkets and treasures getting lost, or – worse, someone getting hurt. It’s pretty safe to say that by and large, people are good. Most people shopping for houses are honest, hard-working people just looking for a nice place to call home. But there are also hidden dangers in every situation and it’s best to be prepared, safe, and secure.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Antares International a call today at 561-249-3460 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.