Is there an open house rolling around in the process of selling your home through a real estate agent? If yes, you need to make sure you keep your precious things and valuables hidden and safe before prospective buyers come to call. Here, in this blog, we are discussing things you should tuck far, far away while visitors are coming over.
Often real estate agent ask home sellers to host an open house to escalate the exposure of homes for sales. The idea behind this is to create convenient access for the potential buyers to look over the house they plan to buy. Hosting open houses is a crucial part of the home-selling process to market the property, which should be considered thoroughly. Since there has not been a good reputation for open houses for a long time and most real estate agent do not consider it an essential part of the real estate buying process. However, it is important to be careful and know that there is an excellent online presence of your agent for marketing the property preferred to open houses.
Remember that you are inviting strangers to your home during an open house and they might be unqualified buyers, those nosy next-door neighbours and potential burglars visiting your house to determine all your property’s entrances and exits. Thus, it is imperative to make sure your real estate agent goes back through the house and secures all doors and windows. There might be hardware mechanisms in some doors a realtor should know about for operating it, and he should address it before the open house to keep the house secured.
Make sure to not keep several showings in the environment since you are trusting your agent and visitors will have ample alone time in your home with your valuables exposed. If you are hosting an open house soon, remove or hide things from your house the visitors might be interested in. Here’s the list of 10 things not to be left out during an open house. Keep scrolling to know more.
The Personal Documents
Personal documents are the foremost thing that catches the attention of prospective thieves. The documents comprising your full name and financial numbers like a credit card, social security card or cheque book are the valuables you should not leave exposed. Keep them out in an office or a separate location where they can be kept safely and securely. Once your home is sold, you’ll move anyway and these documents have to be moved with you. In case you do not find an offset location, you can hide them in an ordinary box in your loft or somewhere out of the vision of the strangers so that they cannot access it without your consent.
Pets and their Belongings
Everyone is not fond of pets and it is a bad idea to have pets in your home while hosting an open house. Firstly, your pet might not take the existence of strangers amicably which will lead to a change in their behaviour. Further, your real estate agent will not take responsibility for your pet. We understand you are a pet lover but it might not leave a good impression on the strangers walking in your home.
You have to be cautious about it since there may be a case that the buyer would not want to come inside your home if there is a pet around. Keep in mind that you have to greet the visitors throughout the open house because you are selling your home. Remove everything related to your pet such as dog crates, little boxes, cat carriers and litter boxes as they may not look attractive to the buyers, and you never know any of them might be allergic to pets.
Do not forget those prescription drugs when you plan to host an open house. Medicine cabinets are one of the first places a prospective thief will look for. If you did not know, medications and drug theft has been a pattern across the country. Make sure you do not store them under the bathroom sink or in drawers of kitchen cabinets. If you are not hosting an open house with someone in every corner of your home, it is difficult for a real estate agent to keep an eye on everything happening in the entire house simultaneously. Pack up your medications and drugs and remove them from your house before an open house takes place. Do not let them be accessible to potential thieves and burglars.
Firearms and Gun Safes
If you own any items such as weapons and firearms, remove them from the house. If you take the risk of leaving them hidden in a drawer, it will certainly invite a disaster. Do not leave weapons or firearms out. Most homeowners have huge safes in their homes in a master bedroom or bathroom to store jewellery and important documents and thieves are aware of this fact. So if you do not have the safes concealed, we would recommend you remove them from the house.
People who attend open houses allow access to someone to case the property and find out the location of a safe. If there is a large safe in the garage, remove it and put it in storage. Remove the safe from the house unless it is bolted down. If you do not remove it, you are taking the risk of it being stolen as a potential thief might snap a picture of it and will know there is a safe to steal.
Jewellery is perhaps the first thing and the most attractive accessory that could be stolen and there is no denying that. Remove and secure your jewellery pieces safely. It is very easy for a thief to grab a jewellery piece and hide it in a pocket you cannot even take notice of. Thieves are very attracted to the places where jewellery is kept and they can easily run off with small jewellery pieces. So make sure all your jewellery pieces are put away since you do not want to invite theft. Even if you have stored your jewellery pieces in a compact box, make sure to hide them safely.
Mail Addresses with Your Name
The most important thing about identity documents and mail addresses is your name that can help a potential thief find out each and every small detail about you. So do not leave them out in your home during an open house as of course, you would not want a stranger to go through any of your bills and check it out to know everything about you.
Laptops, Computers, Tablets and Cell Phones
Electronic devices such as computers, laptops, cell phones and tablets are an essential part of our everyday lives. Thus, there is a big “No” to leave them out while having an open house. Make sure to keep them in safe storage. Even the chargers of your cell phone are quite expensive to be left out in the open. A potential thief can pick them up and easily put them in a pocket. Tablets and pads too can be easily picked up; be sure that they are stored securely.
Consider installing security cameras inside and outside, so that you can monitor if someone walks out of the house taking something along. Further, inform all parties about the existence of security cameras in and outside your home if you plan to use them during the open house. Do it easily with a sign declaring that there is a surveillance camera to monitor all parties at the entrance. The real estate agent too might inform people visiting your home.
Space Heaters, Fans and More
Items like space heaters, fans and more that are used on a daily basis might not leave a good impression on potential buyers. By not having a good impression, we mean the potential buyers might get a message out of it that you are not comfortable with living here for this reason.
For instance, a space heater implies that it is too cold in the house, multiple fans imply that it is too hot in the house, the basket bat kept in the corner of your bedroom implies that you have an unsafe neighborhood and those foam earplugs kept on the side table of your bedroom imply that it gets too loud in your home during nights. Make sure to hide these things before the open house.
Tempting Snacks in Your Refrigerator
Who comes across some tempting food and lets it pass without grabbing it? Many cases have been found where visitors during an open house check the refrigerator and get their hands on some cookies, snacks and soda. It sounds weird but yes people do not miss the beat of targeting some easy grab-and-go items. Thus, make sure to keep that in mind and organize your refrigerator appealingly so it is more evident when any of your visitors have been discovering around.
Try to put some scrumptious things inside the fridge that are not easy to find. It is a wonderful idea to be a great host and leave your guests happy and impressed. A cold water bottle and some goodies are a great gesture, especially during hot months.
It is not easy to assume the interests of the people visiting your home, which you have to care about. Even a single sign related to politics might leave a wrong impression on your visitors, maybe on a large number of buyers in your area. Thus it is not recommended to put a political sign in your space while selling your home. Considering the political landscape of today’s world, it is necessary to remove any political sign from your home before an open house. Create a welcoming aura in your home for people from all political backgrounds. This might help increase your chance of a fast sale.
There have always been controversies on politics, and let us tell you, politics and real estate do not go hand in hand. A political sign in or outside your home might be a major issue. Make sure there is not even one that could be in the sight of the buyers. Also, check out if there is any magnet, sticker or flier in a pile of documents since any mark of these might create an uncomfortable moment that further impacts the decision of a potential buyer in buying your home.
Summing It Up
There is no doubt that making your home all prepped up for the market is usually a challenging task since it is one of the most important financial decisions for one and all. If you leave out any of the things mentioned above, it could be an initiation to theft; and of course, no one would want to bear such loss. You need to be careful while hosting an open house for a real estate agent and make sure all your valuables remain safe and secure.
Jewellery pieces, prescription drugs and watches are the most common things that draw the attention of potential thieves. However, you can reduce the risk of them being stolen by removing them from your house and storing them in a safe place. Keep in mind that open houses are an ideal way to quicken the home-selling process; and once your house is listed on the market, the best real estate agents and home-buyers come visit and view your home.