May 12th, 2016
As a homeowner, you want to ensure your valuables are safe and protected if you’re still living in the house you’re selling. A good Realtor will work with you to take care of your things; however, it’s best to be on top of your stuff. There are two times when strangers will be in your home: during open houses and during private viewings.
With open houses, you have quite a bit of time to straighten up and remove items. With private viewings, you may not even have an hour.
Your best strategy is to pack up and put into storage items that are valuable or very breakable. The other bonus is that it will declutter your home making it look bigger and more valuable.
This video by Peter Walsh is on keeping flat surfaces clear during the holidays which is similar to keeping your home clean for viewings.
Consider packing away jewelry, small electronics and other valuables to avoid any danger of theft during showings or open houses. You may also request that your listing Realtor do his or her best to avoid showing valuables when taking listing photos to be posted online, including expensive electronics, antiques and valuable art that might attract someone with poor intentions to target your home.
Then have a special basket to throw items into like your prescriptions, everyday jewelry, spare keys, financial statements, and family photos. Then you can easily bring that to your car as you leave. Always leave the lights on when you leave. You may not be able to go home until after dark, and you don’t want to trust other people to do that. Plus, it increases the safety of the Realtor showing the house.
People are nosy. They will be looking through everything as they tour the house. Consider having a trusted friend point out the things you may not see that are personal, or may be tempting to take. Also, remember to pack away and hide bills or insurance statements that have your personal information and identification numbers that could be used for identity theft.
If you’re not staying at the house, consider putting in an alarm system temporarily to safeguard it since it’s unoccupied. (You may even want to do this if you’re living there to protect your property since you may not be there a lot of the time.)
Always keep your doors and windows shut and locked. The lockbox will provide entry to other agents for approved showings, so there should never be a need to leave your doors unlocked to provide an entry point. Inform your Realtor immediately if you are contacted and asked to leave your door unlocked for a showing, inspection or other purpose.
Your Realtor is your partner in looking out for your property. So do what you can to minimize the risk.