Let’s get this out of the way up front: Not everyone that shows up at an open house or requests a viewing of your home is honest. Let’s learn how to protect your family’s possessions.
Sure, most folks are, but some may be tempted to steal anything that catches their eye. And some of them may just act on the urge.
One of the most important steps in readying your home for the market is to protect your family’s valuables and your information from the strangers that will be passing through.
Here’s a checklist of the most commonly “lifted” items.
Protect your family’s Artwork
While valuable artwork isn’t exactly easy to pocket, thieves have been known to look at MLS listing pictures of luxury homes online. They aren’t in the market for a luxury home, but they do want to see what’s inside.
Before the photographer comes to the home to snap the pictures, take down anything that may catch the eye of a bad guy.
It’s not difficult to slip a bottle of pills into a pocket or purse. Plus, since most people keep their prescriptions in the bathroom, the perp has all the privacy he or she needs to rifle through the medicine cabinet.
Remove all prescription medications from the home. Keep them in your car, lock them in a safe or ask a friend to hold on to them for you.
Most gun owners are responsible and keep their firearms under lock and key. If you don’t have a gun safe, take the weapon out of the home. The same holds true for other weapons. This is a crucial “must do” to protect your family’s firearms.
Technology – Is important too – protect your family’s technology!
Laptops, iPads, smart phones, smart speakers, smart watches and earbuds are quite popular with thieves. Again, take them out of the home or lock them up.
Cash and Jewelry important steps to consider to protect your family’s heirlooms
Every thief’s favorite find is jewelry. In fact, the experts at The AA Home Insurance claim that jewelry is the most commonly stolen item from homes.
They are especially fond of diamonds, pearls and gold but will take anything they can pawn. Almost $1.4 billion worth of jewelry and precious metals was stolen in 2016,” according to Cannon Safe Company’s Angela Avila-McDonald, quoting FBI statistics. Consider a plan to protect your family’s jewelry and heirlooms.
Keeping cash and jewelry in a secure safe is the ideal way to foil a thief while your home is on the market.
Protect your family’s Sensitive Documents
Lock up bills, letters and anything else that may have identity information, such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth, Wi-Fi or computer passwords.
The following documents should be locked away or removed from the home:
- Bank statements
- Blank or canceled checks
- Mortgage statements
- Social Security cards and records
- Credit card information
Anything that can help someone steal your identity should be considered sensitive.
Car keys, house keys and garage door openers
Easy to pocket, keys and remotes allow the perp to come back at another time and gain access to your home and/or car. Don’t leave spare keys, etc. sitting in a drawer, be smart stop and think before you leave your home for each and every showing. Ask yourself where are my keys? Protect your family’s future.
Protect your family’s Pets
If your pets will remain in the home, keep them kenneled. Consider investing in a lock for the kennel, especially if you have a dog breed that is popular, rare or expensive. In order to protect your family’s animals take the time and put forth the necessary efforts to protect your family’s most loved pets.
Thankfully, most open houses and showings go off without a hitch. In fact, thefts are rare. But it’s always better to be proactive, to protect your family’s home especially with strangers entering in through your front door.
I hope you will consider this list of important steps when your home is on the real estate market to protect your family’s treasures.