Top 6 Safety Precautions for Home Sellers

IMG_0820Selling a home can sometimes be a stressful experience, even without the added worry of potential security threats from having strangers in your home while it’s on the market.  In fact, many homeowners unknowingly leave their home open to threats, making them a target for criminals.

Here are six tips to help protect yourself from crime while your home is for sale.

  1. Schedule appointments. Have your realtor schedule appointments with prospective buyers for all home showings. This helps you know when to expect people at your home. If someone shows up unannounced politely hand them your agent’s business card and request they call to schedule a future appointment. Don’t let someone guilt you into showing your home right then. If they want to see it badly enough, they’ll call your agent.
  2. If you love it, remove it. Jewelry, even costume items, is easy for a criminal to pocket. I recommend using a safe or giving your valuables to a family member until your home is sold. Lock away larger items like furs, crystal, paintings, laptops, and easy to pocket electronics. Extra house keys should also be removed.
  3. Prescription drugs are like crack to an addict. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will open your bathroom cabinets to see what sort of storage is available. The nefarious person will steal your prescriptions. Keep only what you need for the immediate future in a purse or personal item, then store away everything else.
  4. Store financial documents. Not everybody banks online these days, and the bad guys know it. Be sure to hide all bills, credit card and bank statements and check books. This should go without saying: hide your cash!
  5. We love our pets but our pets may not love everyone. Moving is stressful for pets. To make it a little easier for them, remove the pets during all home showings and open houses. In most instances, if a person is attacked by your pet, the owner is held liable.
  6. Lock it up! Agents will generally use safety precautions but once you return after a home showing or open house, check all windows and doors to make sure they’re securely locked. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible entry points, then return after the agent or homeowner leaves the property.

Working with a professional realtor can help you manage many of these steps. If you’re thinking of selling your home, please give me a call. I’m happy to help make the process stress-free and safe as possible. 703-963-0142 or

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