If you’re selling your house, then chances are good that your real estate agent will want to hold an open house.
While this is a great opportunity for potential buyers to check out your house on a more casual basis, it’s also, unfortunately, a time to focus on safety. This article provides you with the the basic safety tips to prepare for an open house.
6 Safety Tips to Prepare for an Open House
Typically a real estate agent will plan an open house for the weekend. He or she should always give you at least a couple weeks’ notice. During this time you should get rid of clutter, get your carpets cleaned, clear out your closets, clean windows, and improve your curb appeal.
But you should also think about your family’s safety as you prepare for strangers to be poking around your home, opening closet doors and pantries.
Some of the things you should do to ensure your family’s safety include:
Hide or remove valuables. If you have firearms, jewelry, electronics, furs, expensive clothing items, or large amounts of money, leave them with a trusted family member or friend, or leave them in a fire-safe lock box.
Protect your identity. Avoid being one of the 15 million people each year who are victims of identity fraud. Get all your important documents out of sight. This would include social security cards, passports, financial papers, and tax documents. Turn your computer off and make sure you have it password-enabled to log on. Keep tablets and phones stored away.
Don’t let visitors get personal. It’s best to remove family mementos, especially photos of your children. If you have anything in your house that displays the name of your children, perhaps decorative lettering in the child’s room or a personalized towel in the bathroom, get it out of sight.
Let your neighbors know about the open house. This way they’ll know why there are people coming in and out, and they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
Stay at the house until your agent arrives. Once your agent is at the house, plan to be away for the duration of the open house. Your agent will probably have a sign-in sheet for guests so he’ll have the full name and contact information of anyone who visits. When you get back home, make sure all doors and windows are locked. Look in all the closets, under beds, and in the attic and basement to make sure the coast is clear.
Ask your real estate agent to have a partner with him or her. This allows one agent to show the house while the other holds a post by the front door as guests enter. Ask your agent to keep the lights on and the shutters or curtains open.
Once you’ve finished making your house safe, your real estate agent will provide you with final tips on preparing for the open house. If your are currently thinking about or are in the process of selling your home, you should consider a real estate rebate program. Click the link below to see how you can make money in the home selling process.
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