Holding an open house can be an act of faith. Your seller cleans, declutters, and prepares their home to look its best, hoping at least one of the visitors will fall in love enough to make an offer. At the same time, open houses are invitations to strangers to walk among your clients most prized possessions, often with only a single real estate agent present—and so there are very real security concerns, for agents and homeowners alike.
In North Texas there have been recent reports concerning thefts during and even after open houses. When you go through the house to make sure all lights are off and the house is in good condition after an open house, remember unscrupulous people have been known to unlock a window with the thought of returning later. After the open house, don’t forget to walk through the house and check every window (even on the second floor), gate, and door to be certain that they’re all locked.
Here are a few other tips to help your clients when showing a home:
Say ‘No’ to drugs
There are so many tales of open house visitors rifling through medicine cabinets and taking a few pills, or even whole bottles.
Have your clients remove or put in a locked drawer all prescription drugs from their medicine cabinet, even the ones they might think are harmless.
Control your remotes
Most people don’t think about the extra garage remote they leave dangling from a hook near the back door. It’s small and easy to slip into a pocket, so take it with you when you leave for the open house.
File this under ‘Lock & Key’
Identity theft is real and should be taken seriously. Advise your clients to use a safe or lockable filing cabinet for important documents: birth and marriage certificates, financial statements, basically any legal, medical, or personal information they don’t want falling into someone else’s hands