You’ve dusted every nook and cranny. You’ve washed every window. You’ve vacuumed closets that never saw a vacuum. You’re ready to get this home SOLD. But what you may not be ready for is the actual showing – that is, leaving your home while strangers come and walk through it. You probably feel a bit unsettled when you shut that front door on your way out and you’re not alone. Unfortunately, homes for sale can be targets for theft, not to mention potential liability lawsuits.
Here are a few ways you can protect your home while it’s on the market so that you can feel more at ease.
Talk to your neighbors. If you’re leaving while a buyer comes over to take a look, ask a trusted neighbor to walk over when they see the cars leave to make sure that the buyer’s agent locked the doors.
Remove financial documents, such as blank checks and bank account numbers, from sight. You’ll also want to make sure you secure your Social Security Card, prescription meds and other personal info. Put it this way – if you wouldn’t post these things on Facebook, you don’t want them laying around during a showing.
Secure your valuables. Don’t keep high-value items visible in the home. Of course this means jewelry, but make sure other collectibles are secure in a safe deposit box as well. Anything that can be snatched up unnoticed should be put in a safe place.
Another thing you need to prevent is someone getting hurt on your property. For instance, if you have a loose floor-board, or a broken step at the bottom of the basement, make sure to leave a large note making buyers aware, since you won’t be there to warn them in person. This will prevent injuries and potential lawsuits. Be sure to secure loose rugs with non-slip padding and keep stairwells clear of clutter.
Dog bites and other pet related injuries are easy to prevent. Take your pet with you while a potential buyer is viewing the home. If this just isn’t a possibility, secure a dog crate and keep the pup contained during the showing. Be sure to warn the agent and buyers of the dog and ask them to stay away, no matter how friendly he usually is.
If you have particular concerns about your property, communicate these to your real estate agent. You can always request that he or she is present for any showing of your home. As a seller’s agent in Albany, NY, we are happy to work with our clients to ensure they are comfortable during the entire home selling process. Since your home is likely your biggest investment, make sure you protect it and your financial livelihood while it’s on the market to get the biggest bang from your home sale buck.