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Home Sale Safety: Protect Your Home, Your Agent and Yourself

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By : Ted Guarnero    99 or more times read
Selling your home requires that you open your house to strangers and allow them access to areas that would normally only be open to trusted friends and family. Unfortunately, we can't trust everyone, even those who "look okay". Securing your home and property against crime is a good step to take, especially when you are allowing people you don't know to come inside. Protecting the interests of your real estate agent is also a big step in this endeavor.

One of the best things you can do is engage the services of a Realtor, who will escort people through your home and keep an eye on them. An experienced agent will screen people at the office and take precautions against criminals gaining access to your home. Real estate professionals are often in the business of escorting strangers through houses and many have become more knowledgeable about crime prevention in this situation. It's a smart thing to ask an agent what kinds of crime prevention policies they have in place before hiring them.

Many agents will not conduct an open house, house tour or meet people without first having an in-office interview and taking down information, such as a copy of the driver's license and perhaps the license plate number of the car. This is mainly to preserve their safety, but it can also help preserve yours and that of your home. More than one person at a house tour or showing means that there is less of a chance of someone trying to take advantage of as single representative. This also means that they are less likely to try to steal your property or vandalize your home.

There have been cases where agents have been killed and homes have been burned or otherwise damaged, so take what your agent does for safety seriously. Your agent deserves to be as safe as possible and anything you can do in that regard is well worth your time. In addition to the horror of having someone robbed, raped or murdered in your home, the stigma of being the site of a serious crime could make the value of your home come crashing down. Support your agent and encourage them to take all possible steps to secure their safety.

When your home is being shown, put all valuables away in secure containers. Some people go so far as to rent a storage locker for excess property when staging their homes; your valuables can go here as well. Otherwise, place them in inconspicuous containers and place them well out of sight. Make sure your agent knows all the entrances and exits from your home and property, so s/he knows where to check and what to secure after a showing.

Don't accept impromptu tours from strangers. Be friendly and polite, but insist that they go through your agent. Some unscrupulous people use a home sale to gain access to a home, either to steal, visit violence on the home's occupants or to scope the home out for a future burglary. Legitimate buyers will not have a big problem with going through your agent to see the property. If the person acts odd, insists that they 'need' to see the house immediately and/or gets violent or abusive, call the police.

Be extra vigilant when the For Sale sign is placed. Many criminals look for a home sale to check the house out for lack of security. Many people turn off their security alarms and leave things unlocked that are normally secured. If you surprise someone who doesn't belong on or around your property, call the police. Security lights can be a relatively inexpensive install that will also be a selling point for your house. Trim your bushes back; not only will it improve the landscaping; it will also make hiding and sneaking harder.

Security systems, barking dogs, guns, baseball bats and pepper spray are some popular methods of home security, but unless you know how to control that barking dog (and make him shut up once intruders leave), handle a gun safely, or where and how to apply a baseball bat to someone's head (keep in mind that unless it's very clear that you were acting in self-defense, you could be liable), these items are more likely to harm you or your family than they are to protect you.

As much as we would like to trust everybody, it's not a safe world. Taking precautions and encouraging your agent to do likewise is a smart home sales step. Your agent will appreciate your support and concern, you will be less likely to be victimized and your home will benefit from the extra attention.
Illustrated Properties is a Jupiter FL real estate company with professional, effective services to help you succeed in the local market. Visit for information on local neighborhoods like North Palm Beach real estate, and to see listings of homes for sale.

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