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Safety Always Comes First!

Safety Always Comes First!

Now that you have listed your home with a flat fee MLS listing service such as FlatFee.com, it is time to expect tens, dozens, maybe even hundreds of strangers wandering by or through your home. Many of these people will have the best intentions to be potential buyers, but there are always a few bad eggs. It is important to be safe when selling your home and we have some ideas to help keep it that way.

Collecting Information

A responsible real estate agent will pre-screen potential buyers and monitor them once inside. But what if it is a for sale by owner listing buyer, or your neighbor that seems interested? Take the time to collect information before you allow someone into your home just as would any MLS listing buyer. If they have called, simply say that you are collecting information for your agent. Be sure to collect the following:

  • Full name
  • Current address
  • Contact phone numbers
  • Lender's information or loans

Do be sure to inform your potential buyer that the information is completely safe, but keep it until after you have sold your home. Speaking of telephones, do not ever leave a recording saying that you are not home. This is not being safe while selling your home. You do not want to advertise an empty home. Leave a message stating that you are unable to attend to their call instead.

Reducing Temptations

Although there are many things that you would not consider to be a general problem when you have friends over, do remember that all potential buyers are strangers whom you know absolutely nothing about except for the information you have already collected. Remove all of the following from the premise, or stash them away under lock and key:

  • Keys
  • Jewelry
  • Diplomas
  • Credit cards
  • Prescription drugs
  • Expensive silverware
  • Wedding and family photos
  • Private and personal documents

You also should not leave your mail stacked anywhere where a visitor may see it, be it on the kitchen counter or a drawer that they are entitled to open such as cabinets or built-in furniture. You do not want anyone to know private information such as credit card bills, even if it is only because it may affect the kind of offer they will make on your home.

Exclusivity

Show only by appointment. Regardless of the fact that they may be a sign in the yard, your home is not to be open to the general public to traipse through at any time. Collect the information we discussed earlier and set up a later appointment.

Ask every potential buyer to sign a roster. Handle this as a formal open house even for the casual visitor. If anyone protests this, simply state that it is a security measure and that your agent suggests it be done for every person entering.

The Big Day

To ensure safety when selling your home, never discuss your personal routine or schedule with any potential buyer, no matter how kind they seem. Just as we mentioned earlier about the recorded message, you don't want to let anyone know that you may be going on a trip, or when your work schedule is. This is just letting strangers – and potential criminals – know when your house is usually empty.

Do not discuss household security with potential buyers. Alarms, deadbolts, locks are all private matters that should only be discussed after your home has been sold. Do not put any kind of security information on any MLS listing or any flyers you may have printed up either.

After each open house or private showing, check every window and door to be sure they are intact and locked. You do not want to leave a potential entry point for someone to exploit later. This is especially important since your flat fee MLS listing has been posted on various websites, increasing the amount of people viewing.

In summary: You need to take measures to stay safe while selling your home. We hope that our safety tips help you feel secure and reassured through your selling process.

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