During the month of September, REALTORS® draw special attention to securing any homes that they have on the market for sale. September has been designated REALTOR® Safety month. But safety is also the seller’s responsibility so here are some tips to keeping your home secure and lessening any risk.
- Locks – your windows and doors should always be locked. Especially if you’re not home. Having secondary locks like deadbolts and safety locks will give you a higher level of protection.
- Home lighting – right before a showing, turn on all lights. This will improve your showing. It allows the potential buyers to see better and lessens their chance of injury. Having outdoor motion-sensor lighting at night will add an additional layer of security.
- Eliminate the possible hazards – walk through your home as a guest, look to identify items that may cause tripping or falling. Remove loose objects from the floor or carpets and things that are secured in some way.
- Security system – If you have a security system, use it. Pay that little extra for it to be monitored and arm it when you leave the home. A lot of the newer systems will allow you to program guest codes that Realtors® can use when showing your home. These codes can then be deleted from the system.
- Prescription medications – secure or remove any prescribed drugs before your home is shown. One of the biggest drug users are people using prescribed drugs incorrectly especially teenagers.
- Secure valuables – secure and/or remove all personal valuables such as jewelry, artwork, gaming systems; any mail that might have personal information like credit card and bank statements or investment reports; Think about your wine and liquor. They can also present options for theft.
- Remove family photos – put away personal pictures and family photos. Not only can they distract potential buyers but these will also tell any potential theft what your family looks like and their ages. Especially put away pictures of younger children to guard against possible pedophiles or stalkers who can pose as a buyer.
- Remove weapons – the reason for this should be obvious to someone seller their home but remember that even the knife block in the kitchen can become a target of opportunity.
- Unexpected callers – once a for sale sign goes up in your yard, people think the home is open for business. Keep your front door locked at all times and ask unaccompanied visitors to contact your listing agent or bring an agent with them next time. Do not show your home to anyone without an agent.
Observe and complete any of these precautions before photos or virtual tours are made of your home. Once pictures go on the internet they can become a “virtual” buffet for prospective thieves who target Fairfax homes for sale.
Realtors® are not in the protection business but they can inform you what might be potential threats. Often a home seller’s Realtor® will not be present when the home is shown. And if your Realtor® is present, it would seem awkward for him/her to follow the buyers and their agent through your home. One can hope that the showing agent is of good morals and would not allow unhanded activity to happen on their watch but you just don’t know for sure.