If a stranger were to knock on your door and ask to come in, you’d likely say no. Yet when you’re showing your house, this is exactly what you’re doing. You’ll let stranger after stranger come in to tour the home and see if it’s a good fit for their needs. So how can you ensure your home is safe? These home security steps will ensure you can safely show your home with minimal risk.
1. Always Use an Agent
Always use an agent to help sell the home. This will ensure someone is in the home when it is being shown. While some buyers try to sell on their own, this opens you up to showing the home without anyone else around, which is potentially dangerous. Using an agent ensures someone is always with the buyer when they tour the home.
2. Keep It About Business
If you are in the home when potential buyers come through, don’t fear small talk, but be careful. Keep the talk simple and related to the home and its features. Do not divulge too much personal information about yourself or your family. Remember, this person is a stranger.
3. Confirm the Identity of Buyer’s Agents
If someone calls you or your agent claiming to be a real estate agent who wants to see the house, do some research. Your agent would be able to verify that the person is, in fact, an agent. If you cannot find a record of them, do not open your home to them.
4. Hide Your Valuables
Hide your valuables before any showings or open houses. You don’t want potential buyers to grab your favorite pearl earrings as they go through your bedroom to tour the home. As you’re hiding valuables, consider hiding your prescription medications. Unfortunately, some prescriptions are high theft items, and you need your medications for your own health. Consider investing in a small safe to stash these items before you start showing your house.
5. Stash Your Remotes
Do you have a garage door remote? Don’t leave it out! A potential buyer could pocket it and return later to rob your home or your garage. Keep all keys, remotes, and fobs with you when you leave for the showing, or store them out of sight if you are staying in the home for the showing.
Opening your door to strangers is part of the process when you’re showing your home, but you do have to be smart about it. Take these ideas into consideration, and do what you can to protect your home and your family while you’re in the selling process.
When you list your home for sale, you will have people you don't know exploring the property -- and while real estate agents will supervise them, you will still have extra foot traffic in your home. You can work with your listing agent to ensure that visiting buyers are properly vetted (new listings often attract curious visitors that are not interested in buying, just touring the home). You can also take steps to protect your property during open houses and showings. A security system isn't beneficial -- because the people admitted to your home for a showing have permission to be there. Here's what to do before you list your home to protect your possessions from theft or harm. Most people are well-intentioned and the vast majority of showings are trouble-free but preparing to show your home can give you peace of mind and preserve your privacy and possessions, too.
Replace originals: If you have original works of art as focal points in some rooms, you may want to replace them with prints, reproductions or lesser works while your home is on the market. Consider having artwork professionally packed by an art historian or specialty mover before your home goes on the market and you won't have to worry about it being in an empty home. Note that even well-intentioned visitors could damage original art simply by touching it, so evaluate which pieces should stay on display when you show your home.
Remove small electronics: Your wall mounted flat screen is safe during showings since it is simply too awkward to remove and tote away, but smaller pieces could be at risk. Small electronics like phones, tablets and games should be removed or secured before a showing. These items may also contain your personal information and secure data, so putting them away can protect your privacy, too.
Secure or remove personal items: Jewelry and other small items should be removed from the home or placed in a safe or other secure location. Even if you don't have a conventional jewelry box or valet on display, consider removing especially valuable or sentimental items while your home is on on the market.
Most visitors are honest, authentic buyers. However, if you have concerns about theft or damage, sweep your home before you list it and secure or replace any important items.
Anyone who has ever gone out on a job interview or a date knows how important a good first impression is. First impressions can color the entire way we approach a person and environment. When it comes to your home, you want to create a positive setting that draws people in on first sighting.
But did you know that there are several common home staging mistakes that sellers do that actually have an opposite, polarizing effect; turning away potential buyers? The following is a look at those common faux pas to ensure you avoid them and instead sell your home fast:
3 Common Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid
Not professionally cleaning before the stage. Regular house cleaning, even if it's the best house cleaning efforts you've ever done, may not be enough to really appeal during home staging. This is one of those situations in which you want a deep clean done by the professionals. Professional house cleaning services will ensure everything is pristine from floorboard to ceiling corner, helping both get out stains and lingering odors. This is important both because a deep clean best shows off a property and it sends a subliminal message that the house has been well-cared for and maintained.
Forgetting about storage areas (including the garage). Storage areas can be make or break spaces for your future buyers. So it's important to not neglect these areas when prepping for photographs or open houses. If necessary, consider renting a storage facility to store all of your excess clothes, blankets, Tupperware, etc. Thus, whether it's a closet or garage, make sure it's included in your list of places to prep!
Not putting away personal items. This can be a very, very hard thing for home sellers to avoid but it is important. Remember, the goal of a home staging, both in pictures and when setting up an open house, is to get potential home buyers to imagine what the home could be like if it were theirs. You want to create a neutral canvas that allows your audience to paint in the details. As such, having too many personal items and personalized decor touches can turn off potential home buyers. So pack them up and send them off to the storage unit before the cameras come out and the buyers start a'knocking.
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