Security Unfortunately the issue of security must be brought up when you are selling your home. The fact of the matter is that you are inviting complete strangers in to your house. Remember when we were children and we were taught never to talk to strangers…well, not only are we talking to them, we are inviting them into our homes to see our personal effects. Most, if not all, of the people inquiring on your house will have honorable intentions. There have been cases, however, that fall way short of this. You must be completely alert of everything that is going on around you and must maintain complete control of the showing.
I will provide you with tips that I have followed throughout my years of practicing real estate. I hope that you will heed my warnings and be intelligent.
It is a good idea not to have too many people present during a showing because this causes distractions. Consequently, you find yourself alone with a stranger which can be hazardous. Make absolutely positive that someone you are close to, i.e. a neighbor, spouse, relative, know what time the showing begins and that you will check back with them in exactly one hour. This way they can be alerted of a problem.
A neighbor can watch cars coming and going, which can be a great benefit.
If you are uncomfortable being alone be sure to make statements like “My spouse will be home any minute” or “My friend is waiting for me” or something to make sure they know you are expecting company at any minute or expected to be somewhere shortly.
Always follow your prospect into a room. Do not allow yourself to be forced into a room, you need to be closest to the door at all times. Avoid letting someone get between you and your escape route.
Do not leave room for the buyer to park directly behind your car where there is no way for you to escape. Make sure that your car is parked in such a way that you will be able to quickly escape, should the need arise. With this in mind, keep your car keys on you during the showing. Tuck them away in a pocket for safekeeping. Jewelry needs to put away in a safe deposit box or home safe. Do not leave temptations laying around on a dresser shelf. Now is not the time to be a show-off.
Guns needs to be unloaded and locked in a safe as well. I would hope that this is already done and not merely being done for prospects. Guns should always be stored under safe conditions.
After the showing you must immediately go through the house and make sure that windows and doors were not unlocked or tampered with.
The bottom line is that you will have to be your best defense against ill intended people. If you have a bad intuition about your safety you must act on it. Find a way to get out of the showing or stay outside of the house and let them look on their own. Articles in the house can be replaced–you can not. It would not be outrageous for you to stand in your front yard and wait for the prospects to tour your house. You can jot down their license plate and make and model of the car. Sure, it is not the most effective way to show your house but your safety comes first…even if it costs you a sale.
The vast majority of people wanting to see your home will be genuine, honest, hard working people looking for a home. This warning is nonetheless required to make you aware of what you could be up against.
Sit back and take a few deep breaths before your prospect shows up. Gather your thoughts and get yourself into the selling mindset. Turn the radio on softly, let the candle burn and enjoy the accomplishments of your hard efforts. Your house has never looked better…uh oh, are you having second thoughts about selling now?