How to Protect Your Belongings and Peace of Mind
You’ve decided to list your home, but you’re a little afraid of having people you don’t know walking through your home.
You’re not alone. Many of our clients express some level of apprehension at having people in their homes when they’re not there. In today’s world, being cautious is being smart.
For this reason, Landmark Realty’s policy is to have our agents accompany clients at all times when they show homes. We also do our best to ensure that people coming into your home are there because they’re interested in buying it, not just in “casing” it. Before letting anyone into your home, we ask our clients questions to try to determine their true level of interest in purchasing your home.
We want our clients to feel comfortable that we do everything possible to ensure that their homes and families are protected when we show homes.
Now that you know that we take steps to protect you, your home and family, what should you do as a homeowner who is selling a home?
Remove all valuables – jewelry, collectibles, and heirlooms – from plain view and store them in a secure place or remove them from your home while your home is being shown. Remove all temptation by removing expensive items, especially those items that can easily be slipped into anyone’s pocket while walking through your home.
Remove Prescription Medicines
Most homeowners never even think about removing prescription drugs from their homes or securing these prescriptions, but they should. To a drug abuser, a prescription for a painkiller is often more valuable than gold. Remove all temptation by removing or securing your prescriptions.
Remove or Secure Small Electronics
A smartphone, tablet, and even small laptops can be slipped into someone’s purse or bag easily and very quickly. Homeowners should secure these items while their homes are being shown, or take them with them. Even if you secure these items, you should also make sure that all of your electronics are password protected. (You can also set up apps such as “Find My Phone” to track electronics should they be stolen.)
Secure Anything that Could Provide Easy Access to Your Home
A garage door opener or house keys lying on a counter can allow a dishonest person to gain entry into your home later. Secure anything that could allow anyone easy access to your home!
Secure Bills, Bank Statements, Photo ID Cards, Passports
Anything with information that someone could easily use to either steal your identity or access your bank accounts should be hidden and securely stored. You would never put your checking account information out on the internet for anyone to see, so why would you allow someone you don’t know to have easy access to this information while they’re walking through your home?
Secure All Windows and Doors
Many homeowners never even consider checking to ensure all windows and doors are locked after a showing, but they should. The best agents will do this for you, but homeowners should always double check. You don’t want someone to come to your home later and gain easy access because they quickly and discreetly unlocked a window while walking through your home.
Use A Sign In Sheet
Requiring that your agent uses a sign in sheet can go a long way to ensure your home will be safe – especially if your agent also asks to see a photo ID as proof of identify. If anything is missing or your home is broken into later, you will know who was in your home and when they were there.
If You Want to Be Extra Careful . . .
Put your expensive jewelry in a safe and secure place and replace expensive items in your jewelry box with cheaper, “fake” jewelry. If you live in an affluent neighborhood, dishonest people will go to great lengths to find expensive jewelry. Let them find fake jewelry instead!
A few of our extra careful clients have removed family pictures while their homes are being shown to protect their identity and the identity of family members. (If you’re going to be THIS careful, you should also realize that online photos are available to nearly anyone on the internet! Protect your online information, too.)
Landmark Realty always goes the “extra mile” for our clients, even when protecting their homes, valuables, and family members. We offer the advice in this article not as a “scare tactic,” but as a realization that we live in a world where everyone cannot be trusted.
In recent months, even in our wonderful little community, we have become aware of at least two occasions when people viewing homes for sale had no intention of buying, but instead were merely trying to determine what valuables might be in the home and how they could easily gain access.
We care about our clients, which is why we’re sharing this valuable information and advice. This is also why it is Landmark’s policy to be with clients at all times as they walk through your home.
Be safe. Be smart.