A Lesson In Safety
Selling your home means you’ll be inviting strangers into it. Obviously, this calls for caution! So what should you do to keep yourself safe?
First of all, screen the buyers. Before you let them into your home, ask them a few questions during that initial phone call. What’s their name and phone number? In which area do they live? How long have they been looking for a home? Do they have their home up for sale? Are they renting, or do they have to sell their home before they can buy?
Asking them these questions will help you to determine whether or not they are legitimate. If you’re comfortable that the person is a genuine potential buyer, set up a showing for your home. Keep a log of potential buyers that have contacted you, with their names and phone numbers, dates and times they’ve called/emailed, and the date and time of the showing appointment.
In addition, have a “sign in book” for anyone you show your home to. They will fill in their name, address, and phone number. This will enable you to contact them in the future to see how their house hunting is going and to determine if they are truly a potential buyer for your home. It's always better to put the potential buyer on notice that you will call in a day or so to answer any questions that may come up after the first showing. Doing so will not make you appear desperate to sell as it would if you call without telling them that you will.
Some home security equipment can also be very helpful. Thankfully, there are many affordable items to choose from, so you won’t have to break the bank. A strategically placed security camera may deter individuals with bad motives, or catch them if they try stealing anything. You may also consider having certain self defense items, such as mace, with you.
Of course, remember, it’s always best to have another person with you during showings! You really don’t know who you’re letting into your home, so it’s best not to be alone at this time.
Also keep in mind that when buyers look through the home, it’s best for the Seller to give them some space so that they may feel comfortable. Since you won’t be able to keep a constant eye on your guests, it would be prudent to keep all of your valuable or important items in a bank security box or at a trusted relative’s or friend’s during the length of time your home is on the market.
Don’t just screen the Buyers, also screen the Realtors. When a Realtor contacts you for information about your home and/or for showing instructions, make sure you get some information from them and then record it in a book for yourself:
For more some more helpful tips, visit our Buyer and Seller Tips page!