Debra Parker's Blog
If a stranger were to knock on your door and ask to come in, you’d likely say no. Yet when you’re showing your house, this is exactly what you’re doing. You’ll let stranger after stranger come in to tour the home and see if it’s a good fit for their needs. So how can you ensure your home is safe? These home security steps will ensure you can safely show your home with minimal risk.
1. Always Use an Agent
Always use an agent to help sell the home. This will ensure someone is in the home when it is being shown. While some buyers try to sell on their own, this opens you up to showing the home without anyone else around, which is potentially dangerous. Using an agent ensures someone is always with the buyer when they tour the home.
2. Keep It About Business
If you are in the home when potential buyers come through, don’t fear small talk, but be careful. Keep the talk simple and related to the home and its features. Do not divulge too much personal information about yourself or your family. Remember, this person is a stranger.
3. Confirm the Identity of Buyer’s Agents
If someone calls you or your agent claiming to be a real estate agent who wants to see the house, do some research. Your agent would be able to verify that the person is, in fact, an agent. If you cannot find a record of them, do not open your home to them.
4. Hide Your Valuables
Hide your valuables before any showings or open houses. You don’t want potential buyers to grab your favorite pearl earrings as they go through your bedroom to tour the home. As you’re hiding valuables, consider hiding your prescription medications. Unfortunately, some prescriptions are high theft items, and you need your medications for your own health. Consider investing in a small safe to stash these items before you start showing your house.
5. Stash Your Remotes
Do you have a garage door remote? Don’t leave it out! A potential buyer could pocket it and return later to rob your home or your garage. Keep all keys, remotes, and fobs with you when you leave for the showing, or store them out of sight if you are staying in the home for the showing.
Opening your door to strangers is part of the process when you’re showing your home, but you do have to be smart about it. Take these ideas into consideration, and do what you can to protect your home and your family while you’re in the selling process.
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As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.
The Candles Are Burning Bright
You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.
Be Your Own Inspector
As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.
The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For
Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.
Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.