As a seller, you know that your home will be under intense scrutiny during an open house. Your cupboards and closets will be opened and every nook and cranny will be studied for space and capacity. Strangers will wander through your office and bedrooms and essentially have access to all your worldly possessions. Though it can feel like an invasion of privacy, open houses are generally accepted as an advantageous step in selling your home.
But it’s a good idea to take precautions to protect your privacy, your home and your belongings during the process. Thefts during open houses do happen on occasion. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) offers a number of tips that can help prevent you from becoming a victim of theft during an open house:
PRECAUTIONS FOR HAVING AN OPEN HOUSE
1. If you’re really uncomfortable, talk to your realtor about some of the precautions they can take to protect your home. Do they escort potential buyers through each room? Will they limit the number of people permitted in at one time? Most realtors nowadays ask every visitor to fill in a registration form and some may even ask to see identification.
2. Remove or secure small electronics (tablets, smart phones, cameras etc.) jewelry and cash before your open house.
3. Protect your privacy by keeping bills, credit card receipts and bank statements out of view.
4. Remove all prescriptions medications from the home (including those kept in the medicine cabinet).
5. If you have a large collection on display – whether its figurines, sports memorabilia or art – take an inventory and photos so it will be noticed immediately if something is missing.
Your realtor may be able to offer more suggestions so be sure to arm yourself with your best ally during any real estate transaction – a registered real estate agent! By taking a few precautions in advance, you can help ensure that your open house is a successful one.
For more handy tips for buyers and sellers, visit the RECO website at http://www.reco.on.ca.