There are few times when you would consider opening your door to allow a stranger to study every detail of your home – but selling your home requires just that. Luckily, one of the many benefits of using a REALTOR is the peace of mind knowing that through their expertise and available technologies, you can rest at ease, assured that your family and your personal property are safe during the home selling process. Here are a few safety considerations for sellers:
Protect your Valuables
As you prepare to put your home on the market, your REALTOR will likely suggest ways to make your home most appealing to potential buyers, such as decluttering your living spaces, organizing closets and limiting personal items and photos. During this process, also consider removing or locking away jewelry, small electronics and other valuables to avoid any danger or theft during showings or open houses. You may also request that your REALTOR do their 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.
Don’t Forget about those Everyday Items
From that stack of bills on the table to the spare keys on the hook by the door, seemingly boring items to you and I can be very appealing to someone who might be looking for an opportunity to do harm. Your bills and other paperwork can include personal information that can aid criminals. Don’t forget about the lure of the medicine cabinet … consider hiding all prescription drugs to eliminate the temptation.
Let your REALTOR Arrange All Showings
You are enjoying a cup of coffee on Saturday morning when you hear a knock at the front door. A sweet looking couple has seen the For Sale sign in your yard and would love to take a peek before heading out of town. Tempting? What if you open the door and learn that the visitor is a real estate agent with a shiny business card to prove it? The answer to both should be no. No matter how innocent or convincing they are, you should always deny any request for showings without your REALTOR’s prior knowledge. Refer all inquiries and requests for showings to your REALTOR and notify them promptly about any unexpected visits from strangers.
Insist on the Electronic Lockbox
Technology has made access to your property much safer. Not so long ago, a mechanical, combination lock box was the most common method for providing key access to your property for showings. Today, electronic lockboxes have become the industry standard. Not only does the electronic lockbox provide more secure and nearly indestructible key storage, the technology also limits entry to your home to only authorized professionals and provides tracking of who opened the lockbox and when.
Check Doors & Windows
While your home is on the market and being shown, take a few moments each day to walk through the house and check that all doors and windows are locked. REALTORS will be keeping a close eye on visitors to your home, but it never hurts to double check that your home is secure and that no doors or windows have inadvertently or purposely been left unlocked.
Your REALTOR is your Best Defense
Remember, your first line of defense is your REALTOR who has specialized knowledge and training in all facets of real estate sales, including best practices for safety. If you are considering selling your home, contact a professional REALTOR to help navigate the sales process.
The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors is a partner of Finding Kansas City.