We know how stressful and emotional it can be to sell a home, there's a lot going on! Sellers open their homes to complete strangers and rely on the fact that there is a fully licensed real estate agent with each buyer to make sure their home is protected. As much as we'd like to think that every person is a good honest person, the truth is, any house that is listed for sale can be at risk for break-ins and theft.
Protect Your Valuables AND Your Identity
Once your home hits the market, make sure all of your valuables are locked up or better yet, somewhere outside of your home. Jewelry, watches, cash, and credit cards laying around are easy targets for buyers with bad intentions. And something people tend to forget, don't leave any mail that would have personal information on it, like bills, medical statements, or other documents. Someone can take a quick pic with their phone and your identity can be stolen.
2. Insist Your Agent Use a Showing Service
Most agents do use a showing service. It makes scheduling showings easier. It will also keep track of each agent that was given access to your home and when they were scheduled to show the home. The showing service will verify anyone calling to request a showing is a licensed agent and not just a stranger from the street.
3. Make Sure Your Agent Uses and Electronic Lock Box
Simple mechanical lock boxes do provide a better way to leave a key than just under the door mat. But once that code is given out for a mechanical lock box, the person who has the code can access the key in the box any time, day or night. And sometimes codes can be easy to guess, such as 5280, 303, the address of the house, the initials of the listing agent. Ave I've even seen some that are left on the code because people forget to scramble it afterwards. They make it too easy.
An electronic lockbox does not have just one code to open it. Codes are 6-8 digits and are randomly generated. Each code is only good for a specific day, no way to come a day early or late without first getting a different code for the lockbox. Every time a code is entered and the box opens, the lock box records the time and who the code was assigned to. Even better, once the code is entered, it will be active for another 90 minutes and then no longer be valid.
So keep these things in mind when you're listing your house for sale. Always better safe than sorry. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us!