When you list a home for sale, you need to keep in mind that strangers will be entering your home. The majority of buyers just want to find a new home, and are completely innocent. However, some “buyers” have more sinister intentions.
BUSTED! Caught In The Act!
We had a situation where a home buyer contacted us to see a home for sale. This person’s behavior was odd. She kept trying to find ways to look through personal spaces of the home by herself. It put us on alert. We had to stick to her like glue.
When talking with other local agents, we found that others had noticed her behavior, but didn’t think anything was actually stolen.
It became obvious that this “home buyer” was really only interested in taking prescription drugs and other valuables. The home seller had not been advised by her agent to secure her prescriptions prior to listing her home for sale.
To make a very long story short, we alerted the police. Evan Boswell (our team’s Buyer Agent) even assisted the police in catching her in the act!! The police discovered that this person was even switching out prescription drugs for placebos, so the home owner wouldn’t notice anything missing.
How To Protect Your Home When Selling
While that was exciting and stressful, the moral of the story for home sellers is SECURE YOUR VALUABLES. Small items that someone can easily grab, especially at an open house, need to be secured.
Buyers often open closets, cabinets, and drawers. Usually they are just curious or they want to see what kind of storage space the home offers. Sometimes though, they are looking for things to steal. For instance, in addition to prescription drugs, the above “buyer” also took jewelry, cash, and a key fob to the home seller’s car.
It’s obviously best to secure your home when selling it, but how exactly do you do that?
The main way is to make sure your valuables are unreachable by buyers. Valuables include things like jewelry, cash, medical equipment, keys, and anything else small that you really don’t want to lose.
It’s smart to invest in a safe with a combination that can hold all of your expensive items and prescription drugs. If this isn’t possible for you, then make sure to remove these items from the house during a showing. It’s helpful to have a bin that you can toss things into last minute. Take this bin with you when you leave.
Your physical stuff aren’t the only things that need to be protected. Your identity is also something that a person could potentially steal. Any mail and/or legal documents can be used to steal your identity. Secure these things in a similar fashion to your valuables.
Another way you could be a victim of identity theft is via electronics. Someone viewing your home could access electronics without any kind of password and use them to get in to all kinds of accounts you most likely don’t want them to be in. This includes banking, social media, email, and more. Always have a strong password, or another type of authentication, on all of your devices. When selling your home, do not have a list of passwords next to your computer.
To help keep track of everyone in the home during a showing or open house, keep all exterior doors except for the front door locked.
Visitors with bad intentions might also unlock windows or doors during an open house event as a way to break in later. Double check every window and door after showings. If you aren’t living in the home you’re selling, make sure to have good locks on every exterior door, as vacant homes are big targets for break-ins.
Require All Buyers Have A Pre-approval Letter
To help ensure that only actual, qualified home buyers are coming into your home, you can require that potential buyers have a recent pre-approval letter.
This is a good idea anyway, because it will limit the number of tire-kickers and time-wasters. It’s still possible that a buyer with a pre-approval letter could swipe something of yours, so you still need to secure valuables. But, at the very least, you will know that only qualified buyers are looking at your home.
Require That The Listing Agent Be There During Showings
This one doesn’t make sense for all homes, but you can ask your agent to make sure someone from their team is at your house during all home showings. This is ideal for luxury home sellers and can serve multiple purposes. If you’re selling a million dollar home, it’s good to have the listing agent there for security and also to tell potential buyers about the home. The buyer’s agent is not going to know about all the amazing features and finishes, so it is helpful to have the listing agent there as a guide. It can also give you peace of mind to know that your agent is there in addition to the buyer’s agent.
Sell Your Home With Confidence
If you’re thinking about selling your home, and you need guidance on what items you should secure and how to best protect your family and your valuables, please feel free to ask us. We are always happy to help!
We want you to have all of the help and information you need to safely and confidently sell your home. Since one of our specialties is helping people sell their home as quickly as possible for as much money as possible, our goal is that your home will not be on the market for a long time. This reduces the number of open houses and home showings you have to do as a home seller.
Contact us at 614-547-3229 to find out how our superior home selling strategy can help you sell quickly, profitably, and safely.