First and foremost, Judy Jernigan and her House Into Home NC team care about keeping you safe! Here are important things to consider as you prepare to show your home to potential buyers.
- Prescription drugs: Remove or lock them up prior to showings.
A growing number of real estate professionals are reporting theft of prescription drugs from sellers’ homes.
“Like asking our clients to remove clutter and valuables before buyers visit, this is another key item to protect that we advise clients on,” says Judy Jernigan. “It’s a safety issue for clients and real estate professionals. We don’t want to be confronting someone taking this in a home. We also want our sellers to be protected and to keep their medications safe.”
- Stow away valuables
Valuables include everything from the mail left on the countertops – which may contain personal information and bank statements – to such items as jewelry, artwork, cellphones, and gaming systems.
“When taking photos or videos of the home for marketing purposes, we make sure such valuables are not photographed, like a seller’s priceless coin collection, wine cellar, or equipment in a fully outfitted media room.”
“Too many people fail to consider that criminals nowadays can case houses from the comfort of their computer,” says Judy Jernigan. “They can see all the person’s valuables when you post photos. If the valuables are not being sold with the house, why do they need to be shown anyway?”
“Before sellers leave the house for a showing, they need to make sure everything of value is out of sight, preferably locked” Judy says.
- Remove family photos: This is for your own safety.
Many real estate professionals advise sellers to remove family photos from their home. But the conversations are often framed around staging and making it so prospective buyers can imagine themselves living there. While this is true, it is also a very big safety maneuver.
“Home owners are sometimes reluctant to remove family photos just so it will help potential buyers envision it becoming their house,” Judy says. “But unfortunately, you often don’t really know who’s walking through the house. You have photos of your wife, teenage daughter, children displayed, and you could have potential stalkers or people with seriously ill-intent walking through. Removing photos is another way to protect your personal information.”
- Make the house safe for the buyers and their agents.
Add and turn on the lights prior to showings — whether it’s daytime or evening — so that buyers can move safely through the home and not have to face any dark unknowns.
Also, make sure there are no potential hazards in their home, like loose floorboards or carpets. Don’t risk someone tripping and falling in the home and potentially open yourself up to liability.
Go ahead and remove not only weapons like guns before showings but also not-so-obvious weapons too. For example, removing a block of knives from a kitchen countertop.
- Keep the house locked. Consider extra monitoring.
Keep your doors locked always. Your home is being presented to the public with the “for sale” sign, and it may attract intruders.
Remember, deadbolt locks are generally harder to get past than knob locks. Secure sliding glass doors with bars and consider extra locks. Motion-sensor lights can be a good option for outdoor areas for added security. Windows should be checked to make sure they are locked securely.
- Beware of unexpected visitors coming to your doorstep.
You may get some unexpected visitors who ask to see your home. “Sellers have had homes on the market, and a person may knock on the door and ask to see the house immediately, and the seller lets them in,” Judy says. Don’t do that.
Ask them to make an appointment so their contact information is gathered and you have time to prepare your home for the showing.
When listed with a real estate agent, only real estate professionals who have made an appointment and thus are using the lockbox should gain access to the home.
Contact Judy Jernigan to learn more about preparing and marketing your home to SELL 336-701-JUDY. And stay safe!