Home owners and estate agents will agree that arranging an open day to help sell your home is an excellent way to introduce your property to prospective buyers. But a show day does create serious safety concerns for the person showing the house, the owner and the property.
Recent media reports of thieves posing as prospective buyers to gain easy access to properties have again focused attention on the care that sellers and agents should take when planning and attending show days. As a seller, it is imperative to work with the agent to ensure that she understands your concerns regarding her safety and the security of your property on show day.
Prepare your home for show day
Discuss the details of the show day with your agent. Be firm about the arrangements that you want put in place to safeguard your property and belongings.
If someone stands in for your agent on the show day, insist on meeting her and explaining the arrangements for your home.
If there is a panic button, ensure that the agent has access to it along with your security providers’ emergency number.
Alert your private security provider that your home will be on show and ask it to stop by to check that everything is in order.
Do not leave spare keys for the home in accessible places.
Always lock away valuables that can easily fit into a handbag or pocket.
Lock away larger items that are not instrumental in showing your home.
Check that drawers and bathroom cabinets do not contain valuable items.
Open all the curtains and blinds and switch on all the lights.
Prepare your agent on show day
Ask your agent to position herself where she can see prospective buyers’ vehicles and note the registration numbers.
Ask her to tell visitors to stay with her while they walk through the home.
Ask her not to leave the front entrance of the home open. Check that intercoms, buzzers and doorbells are in working order.
Consider a show day where you encourage “by appointment” viewings.
The best precaution is having a second person to assist on show days. This will allow the agent to deal with more than one set of visitors, avoid serious buyers from feeling scrutinised and provide more security from a personal safety point of view as well.
Submitted by Graham Boys, ADT Security, KwaZulu-Natal MD