How to Keep a Seller’s House Safe During an Open House
There’s no better way to get a lot of exposure for a client’s home than with an open house. You can quickly and efficiently show off the house and it’s far simpler than scheduling individual showings. However, some unscrupulous people will see an open house as an invitation for crime.
Knowing this, how can you protect your client’s home and belongings from theft and other criminal activity during an open house? Here are 7 steps all real estate agents should take to protect their buyers during an open house.
1. Suggest that Homeowners Confirm their Insurance Coverage Beforehand
Before an open house, suggest that your sellers confirm what their homeowner’s insurance covers and doesn’t cover. Does their coverage insure them against property damage, and do they have enough protection to cover their most valuable belongings, just in case?
2. Lock-Up and Hide Valuables
This step might seem obvious, but never assume that your sellers know they should lock and hide their most valuable items. This includes precious family heirlooms, antiques, jewelry, computers, documents like passports and financial statements and even prescription medications.
3. Require Visitors to Sign in Before Touring the Home
By requiring would-be buyers to sign in, you’ll have an accurate idea of who entered the home and how many people visited. Ask for their name and phone number at a minimum, but you can also ask for email addresses. If you later suspect that a theft occurred there’s at least some record of who was in the home and when.
4. Limit How Many Entry Doors are Unlocked
Control where people can enter the home by keeping only the main entrance unlocked. If a home has a back entry that leads to a part of the home buyers would want to tour (like a pool or backyard) you can also keep that door unlocked, but avoid leaving every single entrance door unsecured.
5. Keep Communication Open with the Neighbors
Urge homeowners to keep their neighbors up-to-date about their open house plans. If there’s suspicious activity during or after the open house, a few extra sets of eyes can make a big difference in protecting your client’s home.
6. Take Down Family Photos
Family photos aren’t only heartwarming, they can also be useful when staging a home. However, when you have a large number of people walking through a home, it’s wise to remove photos that prominently display the faces of family members, especially young children. You never know who could be visiting.
7. Do a Quick Security Check before Leaving the Home
After you’ve wrapped up a successful open house, do a final security check before leaving. Make sure that all doors and windows are securely locked — you may even want to do a quick peek behind shower curtains and inside closets (only take that last step if your seller has given you permission, though.)
Thanks to your careful preparation and attention, your seller’s home should remain safe and secure, and they’ll surely appreciate the extra effort you’ve put toward keeping them safe.
A Home Warranty Service Agreement can provide comfort, because they know that they’ll be protected from any unseen problems. Your seller clients can even protect their homes while they’re being listed. Visit comprehensive Home Warranty coverage to find out more!