Safety Tips for Home Sellers

Before listing your house on the MLS, you should consider these safety tips.

1. Prescription drugs: Remove or lock them up prior to showings.

2. Stow away valuables: Listing agents are not responsible for thefts.
Valuables include everything from the mail left on the countertops (which may contain personal information and bank statements) to such items as jewelry, artwork, cellphones, and gaming systems.
Before leaving the house for a showing, you need to walk through the house and make sure everything of value is out of sight.

3. Remove family photos: It’s for your safety.
You don’t know who’s walking through the house. You have photos of your wife, teenage daughter, children displayed, and you could have a pedophile or stalker walking through your home.

4. Make a house safe for the buyers and the agent.
Turn on the lights prior to showings — whether it’s daytime or evening — so that agents and buyers can move safely through the home and not have to face any dark unknowns. (Ensure all rooms have adequate lighting as well.)
Make sure there are no potential hazards in your home, like loose floorboards or carpets. You don’t want to risk someone tripping and falling in your home.
Remove not only weapons like guns before showings but also not-so-obvious weapons too. For example, many home owners may have a block of knives on their kitchen countertops; remove these for the agent’s safety as well.

5. Keep the house locked: Consider extra monitoring.
Doors need to be kept locked at all times. A home is being presented to the public, and it may attract intruders.
Make sure you have deadbolt locks. Also, sliding glass doors can be secured with bars and extra locks. Windows should be checked to make sure they are locked securely. Put a lock on your gate.

6. Beware of unexpected visitors coming to your doorstep.
You may get some unexpected visitors who ask to see your home. A couple may knock on the door and just hand you a business card and ask to see the house, don’t let them in.
The proper procedures for showings: Only real estate professionals using the lockbox should gain access to your home.
Also, a growing rental fraud scam is causing more home sellers to report renters who are showing up at their doorsteps ready to move in.

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