When preparing to put your house on the market, usually your main concern is making your home look as appealing as possible. Cleaning every corner, fixing what needs fixed, and making sure it is a home others would want to buy. With all that in mind, prioritizing the safety of your home while it is on the market can fall to the wayside until you are fully out of the home. Once you are moved in somewhere new, you may realize that you are worrying quite a bit about just how safe your home is. Between showings and being empty most days, there is a much higher chance that your house can become a target for theft. Here are some ways to protect your home while you wait for it to sell.
TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBORS
While you may think it’s obvious that your neighbors know you are selling your home, it may not be their first thought to keep an eye out for strange behavior. If you have a friendly neighbor, ask if they can swing by after showings to make sure your doors are locked and if they can alert you if they see any strange behavior.
PREVENT SLIPS AND FALLS
While theft is always a concern, you also need to keep in mind that you could be held liable for injury on your property. It is a good idea to take preventative measures to keep an unnecessary lawsuit from happening. Make sure you repair any uneven or missing flooring, secure rugs, remove clutter, and clear ice and snow during the cold seasons.
HIDE YOUR VALUABLES
The best way to prevent high-value items from being stolen is to make sure they aren’t visible. If you can’t take them with you, make sure you have a safe or a secure place to keep them. While jewelry and other expensive collectibles are important, don’t forget about anything with important information on it, like Social Security cards, blank checks, medications, etc.
One of the things I tell my sellers is to take all of their valuables that will fit into a pocket (whether they have a monetary value or a personal value) and put them into a tote bag that they can take with them when they leave for each showing. This includes valuable jewelry, prescription drugs......specifically pain killers, antidepressants, etc. If worrying about your bag of valuables is too much, then maybe ask a family member to store your items until you are settled into your new home.
If you are a gun owner, it is imperative that people touring your home cannot access your weapons. If you do not take them with you, make sure they are unloaded and locked away. While theft is a concern, physical damage (or even death) caused by your gun on your property can have serious consequences. Please please please do not leave a gun out or "hidden" on a table or shelf. We often have little people with us that may think its a toy and pick it up. This is for everyones safety.
Just remember, When in Doubt, Take it Out!
Happy Home Selling!