Open House Safety and Security
Your house is on the market and your agent wants to host an open house this weekend. Great news, but are you and your home ready for the open house? While open houses can be a great way to get people to check out your property, they also can expose you and your home to unnecessary risk if you don’t prepare properly. Take the time to get your home ready for the open house so you can rest easy while your agent focuses on what really matters – the sale of your home.
While your agent will do everything they can to monitor and control the flow of open house visitors, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Put away the medications. We don’t like to be alarmists, but let’s face it – there are some dangerous (and to the wrong people, valuable) medicines in most homes. There have been reports of criminals specifically targeting open houses in order to score medicines they can then sell on the black market. Sad, but true. As well, there are often children at open houses and curious little minds tend to go places they shouldn’t.
Put away the valuables. No one wants to think about thieves running around their house, but there really is no magical way to tell who’s a good person and who’s a bad person. Play it safe and put away the valuables. A good locked safe should do the trick – it’s a lot easier to see someone walking out with a safe than it is a diamond ring they stuff in their pocket.
Put away the guns. We live in Texas and there are a lot of gun owners here. Most of them own gun safes and know better than to leave a loaded firearm laying around, but before you leave the house, do a quick check and make sure you’ve locked them all up. No one needs a bad accident marring their open house.
Ok, so those three items are all about dangers, but let’s think about some other items that can help you with your open house.
Turn on all the lights. Seems obvious enough – you want your home to look bright so visitors don’t feel their in the dark, but there’s another reason to turn them all on. If someone is wandering down a dark hallway looking for a light switch and they’re spending time flicking on different switches to try and find the right one, you’re distracting them from what really matters…don’t give visitors a chance to be distracted by something that you’re so used to (sometimes the right switch is hard to find).
Open all the curtains and blinds. Again – we want the house light and bright, but there’s another reason. We’ve seen it more than once at showing and open houses, someone wants to check out the view from the window, but when they go to open the curtain or raise the blinds, something breaks. Don’t give anyone that chance.
Fix anything that’s broken and could cause injury. Sure, you know about that weak step on the back deck, that’s why you always jump over it on the way to the backyard. Problem is, visitors to your open house don’t know about it and could hurt themselves. You could wind up with an injury claim and guess what? That has to be disclosed to potential buyers now. Don’t let something as simple as a loose railing or wobbly step ruin your open house – most of these issues can be fixed with a little bit of time and elbow grease.
There are a ton of things you can do to make your open house more effective, but these items will help keep your open house safe. Remember, open house guests are potential buyers, so they will open doors, cabinets, drawers, and places a typical visitor to your home wouldn’t – so do everything you can to protect yourself, your valuables, and your guests and you’ll have a much better experience.
image courtesy of Sam_Catch