While your home is on the market, you’re probably focused on finding the right buyer and getting the highest possible sales price. Unfortunately, you should also keep your personal safety in mind. While crimes at properties for sale are rare, they do occur.
Always protect yourself
If you’re selling your home without a real estate agent, please take extra precautions to protect yourself because you will be allowing strangers into your home. Have another person with you when you show your property to avoid being alone with a visitor. Request an ID from prospective buyers before you invite them in and let them know this is for security purposes. You might even call someone to pass along the ID information and then call them at a designated time after the showing to let them know you are OK. Carry your cell phone in your hand, and do not lead visitors into rooms where they can block you from exiting. In addition, don’t discuss your schedule with them other than setting an appointment to see the home. Always trust your instincts. If you think you might be in danger, take steps to get to safety.
Don’t welcome unexpected “buyers”
A person who knocks on your door and says he saw the “for sale” sign in your yard probably is a legitimate, interested buyer, but you can’t know for sure. Better to play it safe and not invite him into your home just because he’s standing on the porch. Set up an appointment for a time that works for you. If you’re working with an agent, refer that buyer to him and ask the visitor to make an appointment to see the home. Even if your agent puts a lockbox on your home, you can request that your home be shown only by appointment so you are prepared.
Lock ‘em up
If you have expensive jewelry, small electronics, lots of cash, or other valuable, portable items in your home, secure them or temporarily move them to another location — perhaps a safe deposit box or the home of a family member or good friend. (Make sure you know what your insurance policy will cover with these valuables off-site.) Also, consider putting prescription drugs somewhere other than your medicine cabinet. Criminals have been known to visit open houses and view homes for the sole purpose of stealing common but expensive prescription medications.
Let an expert handle it
You can follow these suggestions to protect your safety and the safety of your family when selling your home, or better yet, consider hiring a Realtor. Your Realtor will handle arranging viewing appointments around your schedule, show your home at its fullest potential and work with a team of professionals to help you have a successful selling experience.
Plus, you'll have peace of mind in knowing that prospective buyers viewing your home are legitimate buyers who have been vetted as financially qualified and ready to buy. Of course, your Realtor also brings the expertise needed to maximize your selling price and terms and will help you meet your other goals in selling your home.
For more information about selling in Texas, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.
The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that compromise the National Association of Realtors. As the nation’s largest trade association, NAR is “The Voice for Real Estate,” representing over one million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors serves approximately 2,300 members by providing MLS services, education, governmental affairs, etc. For more information, visit www.gfwar.org.