Homeowners and estate agents agree that open house or show days help to sell houses because this practice introduces the property to prospective buyers. However, opening your home up to potential buyers may also mean an open house for potential burglars.
Estate agents especially need to be security conscious and need to discuss the option of putting security systems in place before a show day, not only to protect the sellers' valuables and property, but to ensure the agents are safe as well.
While you cannot plan for every eventuality, the following pointers will definitely help to discourage thieves from taking advantage of the situation:
Preparing your home for show day
- If someone stands in for your agent on the show day, insist on meeting them and explaining arrangements for your home.
- If there is a panic button, ensure that the agent has access to it, along with your private security provider's emergency number.
- Alert your private security service provider that your home will be on show and ask them to stop by during the afternoon to check that everything is in order.
- Do not leave spare keys for the home (for back, garage or patio doors) hanging on hooks that can be reached.
- Always lock away valuables that can easily fit into a handbag or pocket. Remember that drawers and bathroom cabinets can be opened and rifled through quickly, so remember to check that they do not contain valuable items.
- Put away larger items of equipment that are not instrumental in showing off your home to stop criminals thinking they might have to return later when no one is home.
- Open curtains and blinds or switch on lights in each room to discourage would-be thieves from untoward activity.
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