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 The Safety of Your Home when You Open it Up to Buyers (Part 3)
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Sun, Jun 5th, 2005 11:46 pm

Yesterday we looked at using staging and pre packing as a way to also protect your valuables from theft.  But the downside to long-term pre packing is that you're left without an easy way to access your valuables during the home sale process.

Although that may be fine for collectables or antique furniture, valuables like jewelry you wish to wear can be another story.

That's why there are also solutions to securing valuables in a home that can’t be packed up long-term (watches, jewelry, money, etc). There are companies that make fake shaving cream cans, books, Coke cans, etc that are really decoy safes (see: http://www.safetycentral.com/cansafes.html or do a Google search on “decoy can safes”).

Just make sure the safe you are buying is appropriate for the room you are hiding it in (i.e. no shaving cream in the kitchen).

Other more traditional solution would be to get a bank safety deposit box close to your home or just move stuff to a trusted neighbor or family member’s home until the house is sold.

The key is, if someone is taking the trouble to case your home so they can rob you later and they don’t see anything worth while to steal, the odds of them coming back are greatly diminished.

Also realize that the "Average Joe" who gets a case of sticky fingers when they see that $20 or an iPod setting out on your nightstand is a much bigger threat to worry about than the professional thief.

When you list your home for sale you start your life in a “fishbowl.” That means it's important to take a few minutes every morning to secure things prior to leaving the house just in case you have a showing that day. Again, what someone can’t see or find, they can’t take.

The next step is securing the home.

If you are about to sell your home, odds are in favor that your future buyer’s building inspection will catch the broken door locks and windows that don’t latch and make you fix them (or pay to have them fixed) prior to closing.  So why not take the time to fix them prior to selling so they don’t tempt a potential burglar looking for an easy target?

Also look for simple, cheap solutions that might provide a little extra protection- like a brace to lock a sliding glass door from being forced open.

If you have a lot of computer or electronic equipment, there are locks and chains that tether your equipment to the furniture that are relatively inexpensive (see: http://www.kensington.com/ ).

Another thing to remember is when selling your home you often have your daily routine broken up which can make you vulnerable.  This is especially true if you're relocating so you need to treat your home as if you're on vacation.

If your home is going to be setting empty while you are out of town looking for a new place to live, have a trusted friend or neighbor periodically check up on it. Also make sure the lawn gets mowed and stop mail and newspaper delivery. Nothing says, “No one’s home,” quite like two weeks worth of newspapers strewn across an unmowed lawn.

Another suggestion while you're out of town is to get timers to turn inside lights and a radio on and off.

In Part 4 we'll look at other more general tips you should consider for keeping your home and belonging safe and sound throughout the selling process.

[ Next Article: The Safety of Your Home when You Open it Up to Buyers (Part 4) ]
[ Previous Article: The Safety of Your Home when You Open it Up to Buyers (Part 2) ]


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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in the technology industry which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director in 2005. In 2011 Sid launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc, while continuing to perform marketing and operations for Kimberly's team. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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