- Encourage the sellers to hide any valuables during a showing, including medication.
- Hide personal photos that show the homeowners’ faces.
- Make sure the sellers lock all doors except for the primary entrance where visitors will be entering.
There is a lot that goes into selling a home, and many homeowners often feel overwhelmed throughout the process. As a real estate agent, it’s your responsibility to make them feel at ease.
Homeowners might feel concerned about leaving their home during a showing — and rightfully so. Depending on the showing, there could be hundreds of strangers walking in and out of their home.
It’s easy to get caught up in making a home look perfect for a showing, but it is just as important to help clients keep their belongings safe while their home is on the market. There are things that both the agent and homeowners can do to stay safe.
1. Hide valuables
Encourage the sellers to hide any valuables during a showing. Medications should be kept locked away in cabinets, as theft of prescription drugs is becoming more common during showings.
If the clients have a safe, they should lock up expensive items such as jewelry. Portable safes should be as hidden as possible, or kept with the seller for maximum security.
Also, consider asking the homeowners to keep relevant documents with private information in their possession, rather than leaving them at home. It’s impossible to keep an eye on everyone, and you never know when someone might decide to go through drawers looking to steal the homeowners’ identities.
In addition to valuables, hide weapons such as guns and large kitchen knives. Make sure these are locked up or removed entirely from the house. This precaution prevents theft and protects you.
2. Remove photos
Family photos are great for staging. They make the home feel “homey” and help prospective buyers imagine themselves in the home.
But with many people touring the home, you never know who could be there. Protect the family and hide personal photos that show the homeowners’ faces.
3. Encourage buyers to sign in
It might not be feasible to have every guest sign in for large showings. But for smaller showings, ask prospective buyers to leave their name and phone number.
That way, if there is suspicion of theft, you have a record of who entered the home during the open house. Signing in also helps determine how many people were in the home during the showing.
4. Limit access to the home
During a showing, it’s important to limit the number of accessible entrances. Make sure the sellers lock all doors except for the primary entrance where visitors will be entering.
When you arrive before the showing, check that all necessary doors have been locked and secured.
Keeping only one door open during a showing also makes it easier to track who is entering and exiting.
5. Secure the home
Securing the home is especially important if the homeowners have moved to another home while their old home is still on the market. Vacant homes are attractive to criminals.
At the minimum, encourage the sellers to secure the exterior of doors. They should not skimp on deadbolts and locks, as cheaper locks can be faulty.
As a real estate professional, you might also want to suggest a home security system to protect the home. There are many options available for security systems, including budget-friendly options.
With many prospective buyers entering and exiting the sellers’ homes, it is important to think about safety measures that protect homeowners and their identities.
Security will provide them with peace of mind knowing that they have an agent who is looking out for their best interests.
John Lakatosh is president of Crime Intervention Alarm Company, which provides custom security plans for businesses and homes throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.