When preparing your house to go on the market, there are all the obvious things to consider for the inspections: fresh paint, tidy garden, impeccable styling and a special touch of scented candles. But have you thought about what to do with your valuables when you are inviting strangers into your home?
Here are a few things to remember when hosting an open for inspection in order to keep your property safe.
Remove valuables from sight
Although the Sidney Nolan on the wall or the Rolex on your dresser may make your home feel like your home, it is important to remember you are selling your house, not the things inside it. Don’t let the prospective buyers handle or even see these items of value; remove them from sight or entirely from the premises wherever possible.
Files and papers
Avoid identity theft or fraud by ensuring all personal papers and files are stored and locked away. This includes bills, passports, bank statements and credit card details. Also be sure to remove any cash from the premises – including money stored in drawers or jars.
Increase your insurance
Speak to your home and contents insurer about extending your coverage for theft, damage or public liability during inspections. Most providers will allow you to add this protection over a specific timeframe.
Request additional staff
If your home is large or is spread over multiple levels, speak to your real estate agent about having multiple staff members present at all open for inspections. This way you can ensure that there is a professional representative keeping an eye out at as many touch points of your home as possible.
Your personal possessions and keepsakes are part of what give your home it’s life and soul – but be careful of giving away too much. It’s best to remove the framed photos and mementoes not only for your own privacy, but also to leave the home as a blank canvas for potential buyers – who can instead imagine their own family photos hanging on the walls.
Have a fallback in case anything does go missing by collecting photo identification and contact details from every person who walks through the door. This information can also be used for follow up calls to get personal feedback about the property.
Single entry and exit
Keep track of visitors by having only one entry and exit point that can be manned at all times. You will feel more comfortable if you have control over who is coming and going during the inspection.
The threat of theft doesn’t stop when the inspection does. After welcoming so many strangers into your home throughout an auction campaign, it is important to be extra cautious of your security measures during and after the campaign. Be sure to lock up windows, doors, garages and sheds and keep all valuables stored out of sight – right up until the moment you hand over the keys to the new owner.