On staging consultations, I constantly repeat three tips, to help homeowners stay safe when selling homes. These are as much for safety as for selling.
- 1. Put away the block of knives on your kitchen counter. They could become weapons.
- 2. Remove anything which may help predators recognize your children, including signed drawings, and school pictures.
- 3. Put your valuables under lock and key. Putting jewelry into the box on the dresser or the X-box into the closet doesn’t cut it. Lock them in the trunk of your car and take them with you if necessary.
Is my advice overkill? Maybe not. Larry Riggs, Real estate sales agent, Re/Max Achievers, Frederick, Maryland tells me:
“The first listing I ever got as a new agent was a [for sale by owner] who was robbed at an open house because they didn’t know how to keep things secure. . . I once showed a house where the buyer opened the closet door and found hanging on a hook a western style holster complete with bullets and gun in place.”
Fortunately, I never have had to remind a homeowner about unlocked guns yet. Maybe Canadian gun laws help. But, the three points stand.
Regarding the knives, I recently had a local real estate agent mention to me that he always asks people to put the knives away when their homes are prepared for showings. So it’s not just me.
As for the items identifying you children, I blogged about it previously. Read it here.
Regarding valuables, you’d be surprised what has been taken. I recall an agent telling me how upset she was because, after one of her open houses, the little boys found out the brand new Wii game they got for Christmas had been stolen out of their closet. That’s a fairly big item.
Of course prescription drugs are targeted. But did you realize that cosmetics and expensive perfumes are also on the list for light fingered thieves? The medicine cabinet is no longer safe — unless it has a lock.
So err on the side of caution, Don’t let crime add to an already stressful time.