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 The Safety of Your Home when You Open it Up to Buyers (Part 4)
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Mon, Jun 6th, 2005 11:46 pm

Over the past few days we've been looking at ways to keep your home safe from theft while you have it for sale.  Now I'd like to look at a few other tips for keeping you safe and sound.

Prior to listing your home for sale is a great time to set down with your insurance agent and discuss your homeowner’s insurance. If you are really worried about theft during the moving/selling process, then being properly insured during this time should help you sleep easier.

This is especially important if you're relocating or moving to a new house prior to your current home selling because not all homeowner's policies cover vacant homes.

Also realize not all homeowner's policies cover valuables if they leave the home either. Forget about theft for a second and ask yourself what happens if your moving truck is in a wreck or your in-laws garage where you're storing things burns down.

Check with your insurance agent to make sure your valuables are insured if they are in a moving truck, POD, storage shed, or someone else’s home. This may require a short term renter’s contract or other short term solution.

Listing time is also a great time to take inventory WITH A CAMERA! If you don’t own a camera (or video camera) go buy a disposable one.

This will also help you identify missing items should your home actually be the one that gets broken into as well as provide proof to your insurance company so you can get reimbursed. And by taking photos or a video of your valuables prior to packing and moving, you have proof that an item wasn’t damaged before a mover touched it (should you have a problem later on).

Lastly, when you start to prepare for the safety of your valuables, also consider the safety of you and your family.  Personal effects can tell a stranger a lot about you- and your children.

Those credit cards, bank statements and even mail that you have setting out on kitchen planning desk could provide a goldmine to someone looking for an identity theft victim.  When you're putting your home up for sale you need to find a nice place to keep personal papers tucked away and out of sight.

Family photos hanging on the wall can tell strangers touring your home more about your family than you may feel comfortable having them know.  That doesn't mean hide every trace that you have children, but making it so visitors can't place names and faces to your kids outside of the home does a lot to protect their identity.

The goal over the last four days hasn't been to make you afraid of selling your home- it’s to PREPARE you for it.

Although the odds, based on the stats I’ve seen, are pretty low that theft would happen, preparing yourself properly will only reduce your chances.

[ Next Article: Using Good Etiquette when Looking at Homes ]
[ Previous Article: The Safety of Your Home when You Open it Up to Buyers (Part 3) ]


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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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