Have reports of thieves targeting homes for sale made you reluctant to list your home? Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your home.
Although sellers are often concerned about strangers walking through their homes during showings, they often forget that the pictures taken for marketing on the internet can increase the risk of a robbery. Before these images are taken, all valuable items should be removed. Jewelry boxes, gun cases, computers, electronics, collections, family pictures, calendars, keys, wallets, and safes should not be in any photographs or present during showings. It may be best to temporarily remove these items to a safer place while the home is on the market.
Open houses are a popular marketing tool, but before you agree to one, consider the number of strangers that will wander around your home. Think about what potential thieves may see that might help them “case the joint.” They may see where the exterior doors are likely to be left unlocked and which windows they can unlock that won’t be noticed. They can look for family pictures to see who will be in the home, whether there is a dog, or whether the family travels frequently. Experts think that no more than 2% of homes are sold because of an Open House. As a seller, you must ask yourself if the risk of opening your home to the public is worth the low probability of finding a buyer this way. Most real estate agents like open houses because they can network with potential clients, not because it is likely that they will find a buyer for the house being marketed. I feel it’s more effective to market the property online with great photos and useful information about the home. It is also more effective to send postcards to the other homeowners in the neighborhood informing them that the house is on the market and asking them if they know any potential neighbors who might be interested. If the home needs to be remodeled, I think it’s a great idea to have an expert offer remodeling suggestions. These can be offered to potential buyers to help them see the potential of the home. There are many marketing techniques that are much more effective than holding an Open House. Serious buyers make appointments to see the homes the are interested in purchasing. Serious buyers have been approved for a mortgage loan. Serious buyers are well known by their real estate agents. Open Houses are often not effective for finding serious buyers. They tend to please curious neighbors and people with bad intentions.
Consider what your marketing photographs say about your possessions and think twice before you asking your real estate agent to hold an Open House. Be safe and secure when you list your home.