Selling your home means advertising it and likely opening its doors to the public, which can leave you feeling vulnerable where safety is concerned.
Discuss your safety concerns with your real estate agent. Talk about the implications of leaving your address out of marketing materials, requiring everyone who enters your home during an open house to sign a guest register with their name, address and phone number, having potential buyers screened before scheduled showings to ensure they’re serious about buying, and having your agent bring along a colleague to provide added supervision during open houses.
Don’t give strangers the opportunity to steal from you or incentive to return with the intention of stealing. Remove or lock up personal items like keys, credit cards, checkbooks, prescription pills, and documents containing personal or financial information. Lock up or store offsite valuable possessions like jewelry, currency, collections, electronic equipment, expensive art, silver and china. Consider removing family photographs and password-protecting your computer.
In addition to your own safety, consider the safety of prospective buyers while they’re in your home. Make sure stairs and traffic paths are obstacle-free, no unruly cords lay in wait to snare potential buyers’ legs, buyers aren’t left in the dark due to burnt bulbs, and nothing falls out of closets when opened.
As well, it’s best that pets be absent during showings. Even the friendliest cats and dogs can get spooked by strangers, so for the sake of pets and buyers alike, take your pets for a walk, keep them outside, or drop them off with a friend.