Securing is top of mind today. This is expecially true for homeowners or it should be. With this in mind we have taken the time to share with you our top 6 things you can do to keep you home safe when putting it on the market for sale. This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales.
1. Stow away valuables. This includes everything from mail left on your kitchen counter (which may contain personal information and bank statements) to such items as jewelry, artwork, cellphones, and gaming systems. Real estate agents can’t protect valuables and likely won’t be following prospective buyers all around the house, especially during a busy open house. You should walk through your house before a showing or open house to make sure everything of value is out of sight.
2. Remove or lock up prescription medications prior to showings. Similar to removing valuables prior to a showing or open house, prescription drugs are another key item to protect.
3. Remove family photos for your safety. Many real estate agents advise sellers to remove family photos as part of the staging process, but removing photos can also help protect your family’s privacy.
4. Make your house safe for buyers and agents. Turn on the lights prior to showings — whether it’s daytime or evening — so that agents and buyers can move safely through the home. It’s important to remove obvious weapons (like guns) before showings, but also not-so-obvious weapons. For example, many homeowners may have a block of knives on their kitchen counter which should be removed for everyone’s safety.
5. Keep the house locked and consider extra monitoring. Doors need to be kept locked at all times. Consider adding deadbolt locks, securing sliding glass doors with bars and extra locks, installing motion-sensor lights for outdoor areas, and check that all windows are locked securely. Look into installing a wireless security system, maybe one that alerts you if motion is detected.
6. Beware of unexpected visitors. When your house is for sale, should you get unexpected visitors at your front door and you weren’t expecting any showings, don’t let them in. This is not the proper procedure for showings. Only real estate professionals who have made an appointment and use the lockbox should gain access to your home.
As a follow-up to this last tip, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. You and your realtor have the right to decline any showing request.
When returning home after a showing or an open house, don’t assume that everyone has left and that the house has been secured. Walk through the entire house, checking each room, as well as all door locks and windows – even on upper levels. If you notice anything that’s missing or possibly damaged, call your realtor immediately.
Nick Santoro, co-founder of Personal Property Managers and a decorated Marine points out that this information is certainly not meant to create fear and mistrust, or to scare homeowners away from selling, but rather to help them and their realtors think practically about the ways to secure homes and valuables, and to maintain everyone’s personal safety.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.