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Thief-SFW

Whew! You are done! The house is ready for the throng of buyers you hope will make their way through tomorrow during your first open house.

The clutter has been cleared and repairs completed. Your home has been staged, and you have followed all the Feng Shui recommendations. Everything looks amazing, and you have worked hard to clean every corner and crevice top to bottom.

You are so happy with not only how it looks, but it feels wonderful as well. Finally finished, you are able to climb into bed knowing you have given yourself the best chance to sell your home.

As you drift off to sleep it dawns on you that while you are away tomorrow, strangers, people you do not know will be making their way through your house.

Panic grips you when you realize that you haven’t given a lot of thought to theft and safety while your house is for sale. Sure you have hidden the few pieces of expensive jewelry, but you always have it in a hidden place, just in case, and you shred all your important documents so there is no chance of anyone finding them.

Still there is an uneasy feeling that maybe should have done more to protect your home, possessions and even your family.

Yes tomorrow is your first open house since putting your home up for sale and you were so busy deciding on price, cleaning and staging that safety has slipped down the list and maybe never even made it onto your list.

Even with the fact that you hired a great Realtor who has shown hundreds of homes and knows exactly what to do to keep your possessions safe when they are showing your home, you know that thieves are smart.

We all know that bad people exist. We also know that there are lots of good people in the world, but there is a chance that a bad person may visit your home with not so good intentions while it is open to the public.

I have compiled a list of safety issues that you should consider as you are getting ready for your home to be sold. There will most certainly be additional items that you will need to add to this list depending upon your particular situation and circumstances.

First and foremost, you will need to remove anything of value from your home. Preferably off the property entirely, rent a safety deposit box short term or maybe a trusted neighbor or relative can keep them for you, as a last resort you can place items in the trunk of your car.

If you choose to place them in the trunk of your car, you may want to keep everything in a crate that can be easily transferred in and out of the house for short notice showings and open houses.

Please do not believe that you have hidden them in a place that no one will find. I can tell you that a family member of mine did not take my advice to remove valuables completely from their home and placed rare coins in a spot that would require a ladder to get to and ended up having thousands of dollars of coins stolen from his “hidden spot”.

It is a true story and because there were many people through the house with multiple open houses and showings, it was never determined who took them.

If you have a safe in your home make certain it is not visible unless it is large and unmovable. Many home safes are small, and if visible it could entice someone to return to retrieve it later (this one I know from personal experience).

Larger pieces like artwork on the wall may be difficult if not impossible for someone to walk off with, but it is easy for someone to slip some coins or a valuable statue into a purse or pocket. So make a list of important items you are leaving out so you can check your list if something looks out of place.

Expensive jewelry is a favorite because it can be pawned as is or taken apart and sold as gems or gold, making the piece unrecognizable and untraceable.

Remove portable electronic equipment. Laptops, Ipads, Ipods and phones are easy targets.

Have extra keys hanging at the back door? Put all keys out of sight. House keys and car keys lying about are an invitation for a thief to visit your home or take your vehicle and not even have to break a window to gain access.

Remember to remove the key under the mat or the fake rock with a key inside sitting near the front door. Thieves know all the common hiding places and will recognize an invitation to visit your home when they see one.

Identity theft is rampant and you may think those papers lying on your desk or the mail that is unopened on the kitchen counter is safe, but smart thieves know just what information they need to become you! Credit card bills, letters, insurance papers especially any papers from tax authorities (yes the IRS puts your complete Social Security number on all correspondence).

Pharmaceuticals are one of the top items now stolen from homes. Prescription drug abuse makes everyone a target for theft especially when most individuals keep their prescriptions in the kitchen cabinets. Make certain that all your medications are locked away or removed from your home.

Do you have a block of knives on your kitchen counter-top? Well if you have applied the Feng Shui principals in my program you should have already placed them off the counter in a cabinet, but if you haven’t please remove them now. If someone has bad intentions, you do not want a weapon available for them on your kitchen counter.

When returning home after an open house, always check that all windows and doors are locked. I have heard of thieves going into open houses and unlocking windows or wedging a door ajar to make it easier to return later.

Do you have a keypad for your garage entry or a security keypad? Take a quick look to make sure that the numbers that are your entry code are not worn off which would make it easy to figure out your code.

Always give your Realtor a second alarm code. Most security systems have the ability to have more than one code making it clear who is entering at what time.

Don’t have a security system? Maybe a relative will lend you his sign to place in your yard for a few days to deter anyone who thinks about visiting while you are gone, making them believe that you have a security system in place.

If you are hiring a Realtor to sell your home, you will not need to worry about this one, but if you are selling your home yourself, you will want to keep a list of everyone who comes through your home. You should also ask for photo identification and write down the pertinent information.

These may not all apply to you or your home, but I hope it helps you to be aware of the safety features you can employ while your home is for sale and choose the ones to keep you and your family safe!

Blessings for a safe and successful sale!

Kim

 

 

 

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