You’ve put your house on the market, cleaned it from top to bottom, and are finally ready to start showing it to prospective buyers. But is your home completely ready? It’s an unpleasant truth, but during open houses when there are many people coming and going, houses for sale can sometimes be targets for theft, lawsuits, and other unfortunate situations. You will want to take some extra precautions to protect your Encinitas home. Zillow recently published an article listing ways to protect your home while it’s on the market.
Inform your Neighbors
If you aren’t planning to be home during or immediately after an open house, let your neighbors know. Tell them what time the open house ends, and ask them to keep an eye out for any suspicious people around the property once the showing has ended. You could also ask them to come by and double-check that all of the doors and windows are secure.
Hide your Valuables
When there are several people viewing a house at once, it may be difficult for your realtor to keep a constant eye on everyone. Make sure that any valuables, such as jewelry, are secure and out-of-sight. It’s also recommended to safely stow any blank checks, prescription medications, or anything else that would be easy to take unnoticed.
Protect against Slip-and-Falls
If someone were to get injured on your property, they could hold you liable. In order to prevent a lawsuit, take extra care to prevent any accidental injuries. Repair any loose or uneven flooring, and use non-slip padding to secure rugs. Keep hallways and stairwells free of clutter, and ensure that your home is well-lit inside and out. Remember, you may be used to that wobbly floorboard or slippery rug, but people viewing your home will not be.
If you own a gun, you likely already keep it in a secure location. However, with potential buyers inspecting every nook-and-cranny, you should take extra care. Make sure your gun is unloaded, and preferably locked away to avoid accidental injury or theft.
As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, owning a dog can present some unique challenges for sellers. You may have the sweetest pup ever, but dogs can be incredibly territorial. With several strangers walking through your home, your dog may not take too kindly to the intrusion. It’s recommended to remove your dog from the home during a showing. This will not only make the home more appealing to non-animal lovers, but it will also protect you from the threat of scratches or bites to potential buyers.