Safeguards When Selling a House: Preventing Theft

Safeguarding Your Home During a Sale - Preventing Theft  When you’re preparing your home for sale, there are so many things to consider. Here’s one to add to the list: home security.

When you sell your home, you invite potential buyers inside. They may come in through a private viewing, escorted by a real estate agent, or they may pop in during a public open house. Either way, the sad reality is that there are individuals who see a ‘for sale’ sign as a target for theft. Here’s how you can help protect yourself.

First, discuss aspects of security with the real estate agents you interview. Do they take this issue seriously? How will they handle viewings, open houses, and other matters. Some agents require that guests register at open houses, for example. I know of some who require ID (that is logged,) and even some who take note of license plate numbers of attendees.

That aside, there are some basic precautions you can and should take.

  1. Valuables: Put away your most precious belongings, particularly if they are out in plain view and could be easily pocketed. It’s hard to put away collectibles, but if you’re serious about selling your home, you’re going to need to pack those items up soon enough. In the case of jewelry, do not leave anything of value out on a dresser or in a jewelry box, unless it’s locked. A home safe is a wise investment.
  2. Identity Theft: Take steps to safeguard your identification and personal financial information. Bills, forms of identification, or any other personal documents should be out of plain sight. With a few bills and some identification information, you’d be amazed how easy it is for a pro to steal your identity. Store all important documents under lock and key – or better yet, off site. 
  3. Medications: One of the most commonly stolen items in a home is medication. Thieves and addicts target events like public open houses to find medications, either for personal use or to sell. Don’t leave medications in a bathroom cabinet or drawer. Remove these items from plain view by placing them in a separate container and store them somewhere less obvious.

This is by no means a comprehensive loss-prevention strategy, but it’s a good start. Take some basic precautions, work with a real estate agent who takes security seriously, and you’ll reduce your risk for theft when you sell your home. Contact me for more information

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