BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY…
So you’ve spruced up the house, put it on the market and the estate agent has been on the phone with news of a few viewings. It’s an exciting time as it takes you an important step towards a sale and, no doubt, the house and garden will get another thorough going over before the doorbell rings for the first time. But before you open the door, there’s something else you need to be sure you’ve considered – and that’s your personal security during a viewing.
It may seem a little dramatic but, nevertheless, as a responsible estate agent, we feel we need to remind you that you’re about to let a total stranger into your home. Most of the time, they’ll be completely genuine and only interested in having a look around a property which could become their own.
However, there are also less-than-honest folk out there who may pose as potential buyers merely to con their way into your house to steal property there and then or perhaps to establish what you have that might interest them later. So what can you do to stop them…?
Don’t Be Alone
First of all, try to ensure you are accompanied at all times. An estate agent offering accompanied viewings should be around to help – and we’re among them. But, if you prefer to present your own home and you usually live alone, why not ask a friend or a family member to come round?
Failing that, why not let your neighbours know when you have a viewing planned? That way, they’ll be aware there are strangers in your home and, should events take a turn for the worse, at least they’ll be primed should you need to call for help.
Beware The Wanderers
Also, try to ensure that you can see anyone who comes round for a viewing at all times. It may be completely harmless but, if you notice one or other of your viewing party detaching themselves from the tour, simply pause politely until they’re aware that you’re awaiting their attention. Although it may be entirely innocent and born out of nothing more than curiosity, you don’t want anyone wandering off on their own.
No Security Demonstrations
If your home is fitted with security equipment, it may well be a selling point but, it’s probably best not to go into details of how it works. You certainly don’t want to be pressing the keys to demonstrate how the burglar alarm is deactivated in front of witnesses. It’s the same with potential access points to your home.
A Key Point
If you have window locks, by all means point them out – but don’t leave a key in or, even worse, lying around on the window sill where it could be quite easily pocketed without you knowing. Also, don’t make it obvious where you keep all your house or car keys either. You’re just making it easier for a thief to get access to parts of the house or your car which would otherwise be locked.
Finally, it’s always a boost when a viewer suggests they’d like to come back for a second time with their mum or dad or someone who’s an expert on this or that; it’s sometimes a sign they could be back with an offer. But don’t let that excitement lead you to become embroiled in a detailed discussion about when you’ll be in our out. The best bet would be to say you’d be more than happy to welcome them back – but you’ll get the estate agent to notify them of when it’s convenient. Providing a stranger with a list of times and days when you’re not going to be in is a massive risk.
If you’d like more information or tips on selling your home, you could always click on the link to watch our “How To ….” videos (http://www.esaleuk.com/how-to-videos/) – but, if there’s anything else, feel free to drop us a line or give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help.