Placing your home on the market doesn’t mean you have to risk home security. In fact, this is the time to beef your security up even more. Why? Well, when a real estate agent invites prospective buyers into your home, she’s not concerned with protecting your valuables. There may even be times when more than one person is viewing your house at a time and people are allowed to roam through the entire home unattended.
There have been many reports of homeowners being burglarized shortly after allowing prospective buyers inside. Recently, home surveillance cameras recorded a man suspected of three local burglaries walking through a home listed for sale in Los Angeles. In these burglaries, small but expensive items such as jewelry and watches have been stolen. Investigators even believe that the suspect may work in the real estate industry!
If you are selling a house now or in the future, it’s a good idea to keep these home security tips in mind when doing so:
1. Give Guest Code Authorization to Realtors
If you have an alarm system, there is no need to give your main alarm code out (and if you don’t have a burglar alarm, get one!). Most modern systems allow you to program guest codes. Some systems even make those codes usable only during certain times and on certain days. Such codes allow you to limit access to your home and may even keep a record of when a guest entered your home.
2. Require Realtors to Re-arm Your System When Leaving
In addition to making certain that windows and doors are properly secured, make it a rule that realtors must turn your alarm back on when leaving your home. This may require that you give the broker written instructions on how to do so, but taking strong home security precautions like this can mean the difference between your home being safe or it being burglarized.
3. Use Home Surveillance Cameras
Whether hidden cameras or placed in plain sight, surveillance video can be invaluable to home security. As mentioned earlier about the rash of burglaries in Los Angeles, it is because of home video surveillance that police believe they have a break in that case. Depending upon your system, you may even be able to remotely monitor your home while away.
4. Check Your Windows
Each time a realtor or prospective buyer leaves your home, check all of your windows and doors. Crafty burglars will sometimes unlock windows or doors in anticipation of returning later for easy access. Also, a realtor may merely forget to secure one of these and it is always a good idea to manually check yourself asap.
5. Remove or Secure Valuables
Take special effort in securing your valuables when your home is listed for sale. Merely placing jewelry in a designated box or video games in a cabinet is not enough when strangers will be allowed to roam. Instead, consider a wall safe or even storing them at another location.
What are some of the ways that you suggest people beef up home security when selling a house? Have you heard of homes being burglarized after being listed for sale? Your thoughts about optimal home security at this time are welcome in the space below.