If you’re planning to or are already in the process of selling your home, you probably have quite a bit on your mind and safety and security might not be at the top of your priority list, but they should be.
Whether you are selling your home by owner, or a realtor is selling it for you, during this time there can be big safety risks you and your family face, and it’s important to be aware of these risks, and take steps to avoid them.
Even when your home is being sold by a professional realtor, there are potential risks. For example, there was one situation reported a few years ago where two women acted as a real estate agent and potential buyer, and they got permission to go into a home and then ended up stealing things including jewelry and a credit card.
With that in mind, the following are some steps you can take to stay safe when your home is on the market.
When you put your home on the market, you need to ask your realtor some important questions regarding how it will be secured. You need to ensure a lockbox will be placed on your home, and clarify which kind. You should also ask whether or not other people will know if there’s a lockbox, and who has the ultimate responsibility of securing the home.
You need to make it clear to your agent that the lockbox combination shouldn’t be given to potential buyers, and should only be given to other agents.
Showing Up Without An Appointment
Sometimes when you’re anxious to sell your home, you’ll do things you wouldn’t ordinarily, such as letting a stranger into your home.
It’s important that if someone knocks on your door, you don’t let them in. Of course, they’re more than likely someone who really is interested in buying your home, but there’s always that chance that they’re not.
You should advise anyone who comes directly to your door without an appointment to contact your agent, or their own and then they can schedule a time to come back.
Think About Vulnerable Areas of Your Home
Sometimes if a scammer comes to your home for a showing, even with a legitimate appointment, they may be scouting it out for potential weak areas where they or someone else could come back later and break in.
Make sure you assess your home before putting it on the market to make sure these areas don’t exist. For example, they might look at ground-level windows that are unlocked or easily could be opened or areas in the basement where someone could get in.
Finally, make sure your realtor is going to keep a record of everyone who comes to see your house, and if you’re selling by owner, you should do the same. You should keep a guest book, and everyone should show you their driver’s license or photo ID when they come in. Anyone who’s legitimately interested in your home is going to understand that you’re doing this to protect yourself.