Selling Your Home–Some Security Tips Whether or not you list you home with a real estate agent you subject yourself to a security risk each and every time your home is shown. Real estate agents will screen prospective buyers but their process is limited and subjective. The real deterrent to a “bad guy” is the thought of an agent screening them out–not the process.
You see, when you put a “for sale” sign in your yard you are inviting complete strangers in to your home–among your personal possessions–something you know is wrong and you teach your children not to do. Unfortunately, if you want to sell your house–you have to do it!
A real estate agent is trained to do certain things to minimize the risk. Those items include never allowing their car to be blocked in a driveway, never showing a vacant home to a stranger, always alerting their office as to where and when they will be on an appointment, getting license plates, always following a customer into a room, etc… These are seemingly small things that we, as brokers/agents, do without even giving a second thought. Real estate agents also have eyes in the back of their heads that allow them to baby sit kids running around while giving a tour of the home. It is truly amazing how much we can juggle with both hands to get a sale!
As a homeowner, however, you have not been subjected to the training an agent has received. You have to constantly be aware of the security issues as well as the liability issues–what if this prospective buyer is just looking for a place to slip and fall–sad, but it does happen! If you are selling you home on your own keep the above items in mind…and here are a few more tips that might help.
Never show the property alone. Always let someone know exactly where you are and how long you will be there. Remove all “people-trippers” such as yard hoses, toys, animals, loose carpet, etc… Have your car keys in-hand. Park your car where it can not be blocked. Follow your customer into the rooms. Do not lead. Hide all valuables! Check all door and window locks immediately after each showing.
The main security comes from using common sense–and if you are uncomfortable with a situation–get out of it.
These risk are there whether or not you use an agent–but I believe they are decreased with the use of an agent. Use caution and smart sense–you will be just fine! If you doubt the security of your home–ask a security company to come by and do an assessment–some police departments will do this for free.