Open houses can be a very effective way to showcase a home for sale and they are still very much a sales tactic that work in 2017. However, some home sellers may be a little reluctant to agree to one as they are not so sure about letting a bunch of strangers wander through their home potentially unchecked.
One of the biggest worries that home sellers have about staging an open house is security. Sure, 99% of the visitors are more than likely going to be super nice folks who are just interested in a home for sale but what about the potential 1% that are there for less wholesome reasons.
We have found that, industry wide, open house thefts are very rare. Most people aren’t planning to walk off with your family jewels and it’s pretty hard to get a plasma TV out of the door without being seen. However, especially when it comes to smaller items, the potential for ‘pocketing’ may be there, which is why it is only sensible to work with your Realtor to do your very best to prevent such things. Here are some handy basic tips for doing just that:
- Make sure you discuss any and all of your security concerns with your Realtor prior to the Open house so that he/she can help you take proactive measures, measures that should involve the Realtor maintaining a well kept sign in sheet so that you’ll know who was in your home and when.
- If yours is a multi storey home it’s a good idea to have a ‘gatekeeper’ on each floor.
- Remove any and all small valuables and keep them in a safe, locked place. That does not just apply to jewelry but also to smaller electronic gadgets like smartphones, tablets, portable game systems and similar devices that would be fairly easy to sneak into a pocket.
- Don’t stash anything in top dresser drawers as studies have shown that these are go to spots for opportunistic thieves.
- Don’t forget to remove any prescription medications from bathroom cabinets, as, rather sadly, these are big targets for thieves these days too.
- Also remember to remove any bills, checks, bank statements, passports etc from sight as identity theft is a thing too.
- Removing all the computers from your home for an open house is probably not very practical but you should power them down AND make sure that they are secured with a password that would prevent access even if they were switched back on.
And one final note, many of these tips apply to the staging of your home for photography for your online listings as well. The fact is that because most Realtors are very cognizant of the importance of open house security measures it is very rare for all but the most brazen to attempt an open house theft. Checking out an online listing however and targeting a home because they have seen, via the listing photos, that there seems to be some rather nice ‘stuff’ in it is much easier though.