Selling your home? Think twice before hosting an open house.
The next few months are prime times to list or buy a home. Houses always look best when flowers and trees are in bloom. The longer days also give prospective buyers extra time to check out a home and its surrounding neighborhood. Parents who don’t want to disrupt their child’s school year often look for a new home now so they can move before the next school year begins.
“For Sale by Owner”
One of the tools realtors and “For Sale by Owner” folks often use are open houses. Sounds simple, bring in as many prospective buyers at one time as you can. But before you agree to an open house, know there are also definite drawbacks – the biggest being theft. Most homes for sale are featured on real estate websites with photos and detailed information. Opening your home for several hours on a weekend can bring in more prospective buyers than privately scheduled tours. Therein lies the problem, however. Anyone can go through your home during an open house. Most are serious buyers, while others simply want to see what’s inside.
Nearly all realtors will require visitors to sign in. But an agent can’t be everywhere during an open house, giving visitors free ranges of your home. It’s not unheard of for a homeowner to return after an open house to find something missing. Whether the missing item is something of value, a prescription drug or simply food in the fridge, it’s unsettling to know that someone has gone through your things. If you are stuck on the idea of an open house, there are a few steps you can take to thwart sticky-fingered thieves.
If you have a security system, use it. Place inside security cameras in specific areas where they are visible. A sign that states “security cameras in use” is a good idea. Thieves generally won’t
pocket something if they know they could be identified.
Before the open house, remove all valuable items, including small electronics, valuable artwork, jewelry, cash and prescription drugs. Never leave mail, bank or credit card statements or other
personal documents in the house. Pack it up. You’ll have to do so anyway if you’re moving. If you have a safe, use it. Otherwise find a safe location out of the house to temporarily store
Secure Home After Open House
Ask that the real estate agent have an assistant or two to answer prospective buyers’ questions and keep an eye on things at the same time. After the open house, check all windows and doors
to make sure they are locked.
While an open house can be a tool in finding the right buyer, it also has risks. If you have questions about how your security system can protect your home while it’s on the market, the professionals at Delco Alarm Systems would be happy to help. Call 610-494-9100 for more information.