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How to Prepare Your Home for an Open House
Selling your home can be exciting. You’ve likely spent time and money getting the home ready so when it finally goes on the market it makes a good impression. From maximizing curb appeal to cutting down the clutter, you’ll realize there’s much to consider to finally sell your house.
With all the work that goes into preparing your home before it goes on the market, it’s easy to overlook the ways your home is at risk during an open house — especially if you’re going to be hosting the open house yourself.
That’s why, before hosting an open house, it’s important to take steps to protect your valuables for when others are touring your home. So take a look at these key open house tips to help keep your home and your valuables safe during a showing.
Before the Open House: Make Home Security a Priority
Whether you’re selling your home on your own or working with an agent, you’ve got to get serious about the security of the items in your home.
Follow these steps to make sure your open house is a safe and successful one:
Take inventory. While you’re in the process of preparing your home to go on the market, carefully note all the items of value that you want to keep safe. If you already have scheduled personal property coverage, this is a great time to update your list of covered items. If you don’t, now’s the time to get it. Commonly included items are jewelry, collectibles, cameras, art, etc. Gather receipts together at this time and then contact your agent to revise and verify that these items are properly insured.
Secure or remove your valuables. Now that you‘ve listed the high-value items in your home, it’s time to lock ‘em up. Install a personal safe in your home before the open house, and store those valuables there. Other larger items may need to be secured off site. It’s a good idea to lock up all prescription medication inside your home as well.
Consider a smart home security system. There are several benefits to having a home security system installed before your home goes on the market. When you have a private showing, these systems can notify you when the alarm is armed and disarmed. And during private showings, just ask the visiting realtor to arm the alarm on their way out, and you’ll be notified through the app on your smart phone that it’s OK to return home.
Another big win is that you can have video footage of the guests entering and exiting your home through smart doorbells or cameras installed around your house. Sensors on the smart home system will also notify you that your home is secured afterwards. Lastly, home buyers find value in a good security system. They’ll see that the home has been well cared for.
During the Open House: Safety Tips for Managing Visitors
If this is your first time showing your home on your own, it pays to do a little research and check out other open houses in your area. In addition to getting a feel for how the competition is staging their homes, you’ll be able to see first-hand how realtors work with guests as they arrive and view the house. It’s also a great time to ask questions about how other homes were marketed so that you can use these ideas to help sell your home faster. Here are a few key ways to manage visitors during your open house.
Recruit a friend. Regardless if you’re showing your home or your realtor’s doing the job, be sure to have at least two people on hand when guests arrive. This way, you’ll have one person at the door greeting people and the other can walk with guests as they look around.
Have your visitors sign in. As people arrive, request that they print their name and leave contact information as well. Be sure to mark down the time they arrive, too. This will help you to remember who was in the house at what time. Thieves may be less inclined to steal from a home where their identity has been revealed. You can also use the contact list to follow up with the visitors.
Keep a keen eye on your guests. One key way you can help to reduce the risk of theft and burglary to your home is to follow those acting suspicious very closely. Watch them across their visit. Be sure all windows and doors are locked after the event, too. Remember to arm your security system afterwards as the sensors can help to tell you if a door or window has not been closed completely.
Following these tips will help you host a successful open house while taking important steps to reduce the risk of theft. As you’re making preparations for the open house, check in with your agent and consider adding a personal umbrella liability policy. It’s an additional safety net to help protect your hard-earned dreams. And once you’ve got the coverage you need, you’ll feel great knowing that your home and your finances are well-protected.