Top 5 Safety Tips for Home Sellers
As a Dallas, Texas Home Stager one service I provide my clients is a home staging consultation. A staging consultation gives a client the “blue print” to do the necessary work to prepare their homes for sale themselves. Consultations are great for the do it yourself homeowner who is serious about the selling process and wants to get the buyer’s eye perspective of how their property shows before the first buyer ever walks through the door. Many recommendations are covered in the consultation which are specifically tailored to each individual property.
Included in the home staging consultation is a list of safety tips for client awareness. On rare occasions potential problems may arise with common items clients may have in their homes that may not even be considered. We grow comfortable in our surroundings and forget about certain things that may pose potential problems once strangers enter our homes while showing. Many household items and collections can present certain safety hazards and security issues. This is not to instill fear but a reality check of what today’s market may bring. Home sellers should be made aware of these things while in the process of selling a home.
In recent years there have been reports of attacks on Realtors locally and nationally. Here in North Texas a habitual offender in “open house” crime has been reported. Theft is tempting when smaller valuables, cash and jewelry are left out in full view. Identity theft has become a crime that has affected someone we each know, maybe even you personally. Bills, invoices, credit cards and other personal information that we keep in our home offices or on kitchen counters are easily overlooked in our rush to leave before a showing. Prescription medications are easily accessible in a medicine cabinet, the list goes on.
While the vast majority of buyers are in the market to actually purchase a home there are others whose purpose may be far more sinister. Many, many people will be walking through your property and certain precautions are in order regardless of where you live.
- Firearms, knives (including blocks in the kitchen) and other weapons need to be removed from sight and locked away for your safety as well as the safety of those who are showing your home.
- Family photos and anything labeled with names should be removed. This should go without saying but some people take offense to being asked to remove these items. First and foremost, for the safety of your children you need to do this. Again, there are many people coming into your home. With access to viewing family photos, calendars of events, addresses and names of your children often personalized on name plates, blankets and artwork, individuals will have all the information they need regarding your family (they will even know the school district).
- Bills, invoices, credit card statements, and anything with your social security number or other identifying information should be removed from view. Identity theft is rampant, don’t become the next victim.
- Spare house keys, jewelry, cash and other valuables should be placed in out of sight or in a safe deposit box when selling. Never leave spare house keys where someone may be able to grab them. Only the Realtor showing the property should have access to the lock box and security alarm codes. As for other valuables many homes I’ve been in have large free standing jewelry boxes and items on dressers and bathroom counters, including cash. Had I not been who I say I am I could have easily walked out with these things and never to be heard from again. I remind my clients how important it is to treat their “open house” as an open door to complete strangers and take the proper precautions to make their home selling process as simple, pleasant and stress free as possible.
- Remove prescription medications from medicine cabinets and bedside tables. Place in zip-lock bags in another area besides the usual.
Again this list is not to make clients uncomfortable with the home selling process it is quite the opposite. By preparing your home and taking the necessary precautions you make the process more uneventful and stress free. There are so many things to consider while selling that these items can easily get overlooked.
We tend to think of our homes as a safe zone, which they should be, however, while selling and showing it becomes a different story and the safety and security of our homeowners and Realtors is a huge priority. By taking simple measures you can achieve a safe and successful result.