Home Selling Issues
Safety and Security
As a “For Sale by Owner” you need to consider Security and Safety precautions before opening your home to strangers. Remember the old adage:
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
When you sell your home it makes no difference rather you are a FSBO or going the conventional real estate agent route.
Sooner or later you will have to open your home to any number of total strangers.
It's just makes sense to take security and safety seriously. “Fore warned is fore armed!”
99.9% of all potential buyers will be legitimate, but it doesn’t hurt to take some basic precautions.
What if that one in a thousand decides to case your home. Would you know what to do?
1) - The first security precaution of real estate sales is “show by appointment”. Never let someone that shows up on your doorstep wander through your home, escorted or unescorted. You know nothing about them.
2) - During the showing always stay with your prospects. When showing to two or more guests make sure you insist that everyone stays together.
3) - It is a good idea that after every showing you make sure all windows and doors are secure.
4) - If you keep car keys and/or house keys, like most of us, laying out on the kitchen counter, make other arrangements. Also, put any extra keys in a secure location.
5) - Small valuables, such as jewelry, nick knacks, etc., should be locked up or put in storage.
6) - If you have an alarm system, don’t divulge information regarding it, until after the sell.
7) - If you have pets, make sure they are secure during showings. Dogs, and sometimes even cats, are naturally protective of their surroundings, don’t needlessly jeopardize a sale. Even very friendly pets can be a possible distraction, not to mention that some people are allergic to pets.
8) - If there are hazards in the home, such as overhead bulkheads in the basement, steep staircases, etc., make sure you take precautions.
9) - If a potential buyer seems more interested in your electronic gear - computers, DVD, VCR, big Screen TV, audio systems, etc. - make a note, they could be casing your home.
10) - As a FSBO you shouldn’t give prospective buyers your daily routine or a sense of your habits. Be informative, but cautious. Better to say, “I won’t be available Friday.”, instead of “I take the kids to their dance lessons every Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock.”
11) - If you have valuable collections - coins, stamps, etc. - lock them away. Some collectables such as art or antiques may be difficult to put away. In such cases, don’t do anything to draw attention to them or their value.
12) - If you have a safe, or a secure location such as a “panic room” in your home, don’t divulge any locations or information until after you sell your home.
13) - You should always try to avoid showing your home alone. If your spouse can’t be present, arrange for a relative, neighbor or friend to drop by for coffee.
14) - If you live in a controlled entry community, it will be necessary for you to inform the front gate of your potential buyer’s expected arrival. At the same time let the security guard know that as a precaution you expect them to record the vehicle description and license number. You should also let security know how long you expect the showing to take, and that they should phone your home to check-up if the guest’s vehicle hasn’t exited the gate by that time.
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