When it comes time to sell your home, you should make it a priority to keep your valuables safe. When real estate agents are showing prospective buyers homes, it is sometimes difficult to constantly keep an eye on those visiting. Unfortunately, in this day and age, an occasional criminal, unbeknownst to the agent or homeowner, will ask to see homes that are listed for sale for the sole purpose of stealing valuables. Often times we forgot the number of valuables are homes have.
Many owners have important papers in their homes such as birth certificates, social security cards, bank statements and the like. Often, people have these just lying around for all to see, often in files, on desks or even countertops. In addition to critical paperwork, some have valuable collections displayed in their homes. From valuable jewelry sitting in jewelry boxes on their dressers, to having registered guns in their homes. Here are a couple quick tips for improving the safekeeping of your valuables:
First and foremost, start packing your valuables. If you have collections on display in your home, pack them. By doing this, you are essentially decluttering your home. Homes that do not have clutter show better. You have to start packing anyhow, so there is no better time than before you list your house for sale.
Use a Safe
Use a safe for valuables or firearms that you cannot or do not wish to pack. Important paperwork may be needed for closing on your home, so keep it handy. More expensive jewelry can be placed in a safe as well. It is highly unlikely that someone looking at your home will take off with your safe.
Lock a Drawer or Cabinet
Designate a cabinet or drawer for some of your valuables to keep them safe. Obviously, take the key with you.
Get a Safety Deposit Box
Open a safety deposit box at your local bank for important paperwork, jewelry and other valuables. If you do not have one before you list your home for sale, go to your bank and rent one. This is a good idea, in general as in case of a fire in your home, your valuables will be safe at the bank.
Seriously Consider Not Hosting an Open House
Growing sentiment is not to hold an open house unless the home is empty, as holding an open house can be an open invitation for thieves. If more than one person or group of people come to the open house at the same time, your agent cannot possibly keep an eye on everyone. Some criminals target open houses for this reason. Most recently, thieves are looking for jewelry they can pawn and certain prescription medications they can sell.
If you do decide to have your real estate brokerage host an open house, be sure there are at least two agents in your home. Have open house attendees sign in and show identification. Be sure that the agents leave no one unattended while they view the home. Most importantly, be sure you have removed your valuables from open sight.
While you are preparing your home for sale, be sure to take precaution and keep your valuables safe. There is a famous saying, "Out of sight, out of mind." The risk of temptation will be lower if people cannot see or do not know you have valuables in the home.