You have decided to list your home for sale. You have brushed the walls with a fresh coat of paint, cleaned the carpeting, purged the closets and organized the cabinets. You even planted fresh flowers by the front porch. You are ready to start showing your home to potential buyers. Or are you? Before you start scheduling showing appointments, use these tips to keep everything secure. You probably have nothing to worry about but it’s better to be safe, isn’t it?
Hide sensitive documents. Lock up anything with your personal information. Never leave mail, credit card bills, passports or bank statements out in the open or in an unlocked desk drawer. Lock them up. Don’t forget to check your mailbox and shred any credit card offers!
Secure valuables. Do not leave jewelry, portable electronics like iPads, collectables or spare house and car keys in sight. Lock them up or take them with you.
Remove or secure pets. If possible, remove your pets from the house before each showing. If removing the pet is not possible then secure your pet in a pet crate. Some buyers are afraid of dogs and will be more comfortable if the pet is secured. Cats should also be in a kennel. Keeping your pets secure will also keep them from sneaking past the agent and out the front door!
Turn computers off. You should always have your computer and other devices password protected. Also make sure to log off and shut down your computer before you leave the house.
Only allow showings that are scheduled appointments. Do not show the house to anyone who just shows up at your door (even with an agent). Ask them to contact your agent. Only an appointment during reasonable hours and scheduled ahead of time with your agent allowed!
Remove prescription medicine. Take prescription medicine with you or lock it up. The label has your doctor’s name, pharmacy and insurance information. The medicine may also be tempting for someone to pocket.
Remove calendars. Don’t leave a calendar out on a refrigerator door or desk top. It may show your family’s future plans.
Open all the window shades. Realtor.com recommends opening all the shades, blinds and curtains and turning on all the lights before an open house so people can be seen from the outside.
Check your house after the showing. Make sure all the windows and doors are locked and nothing is missing. A thief may unlock a window to gain access at a later time.