Operation Security: Safeguarding Your Home During An Open House

While an open house is a great way to actually meet the perfect buyer for your property, it is also a great opportunity for people with bad motives to do their rude moves. More than allowing your house to actually accommodate good buyers, you might also be accommodating bad people. So how are you are exactly going to do the open house while securing your home? Here are some tips.

Keep away important documents containing pertinent information such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts. These digits of numbers can actually be the key towards committing crimes using your identity.

Remove jewelries, antiques, and other items of high values. These are eye candies and can easily attract robbers and thieves. Electronic gadgets like tablets, laptops, and smartphones should also be secured. Your personal and some confidential information can be leaked once these gadgets are taken away from your possession.

Photos of family members are advised to be hidden. You don’t know how criminal minds think. Your family members, even with just their photos can be easy targets of crimes, especially children.

Never leave keys of your house, car, or rooms – even if they are just duplicates. These things are small and can be easily grabbed. When possessed by bad persons, these keys can be used to enter your property.

Never hide anything of value in your rooms and other likely places. Rooms within your house especially those that are locked up during the open house can imply that there are valuable things in there. Though they are locked up, it is still advised never to leave things of high value in those rooms. Some curious and naughty persons might be unnoticed sneaking in those rooms to peep on those things and plan something bad afterwards.

Have a logbook of guests joining the open house. This is a helpful record to see who came to visit the house. Make sure that the arrival and departure times are recorded too.

Take photos or videos of the rooms and other parts of the house before the open house in its staged state. After the open house, review the photos or videos to see if there are some alterations on how things are placed and ordered.

Remember that an open house should be an opportunity to meet buyers, or even meet new connections and friends. It should not be an opportunity or an invitation to persons with bad intentions. However, we won’t know bad people until they have done wrong. So better stay safe and secured than be sorry later on!

Ten Dos and Don’ts to Help Sell Your Home for Top Dollar

A lot of sellers don’t put enough emphasis on fixing up their homes when they put them on the market. Even sellers with recently renovated homes need to do this work. There is stiff competition and every detail is important to help you sell fast and for top dollar.
So if you want to sell your house, take ten minutes to read this list. Then start packing!
1 DO de-clutter and de-personalize the space! It’s simple advice but this is the most difficult step for sellers. Say good-bye to the home and then erase the memories from the space by putting away personal items. The more prospective buyers can visualize their own belongings in the space, the better.
2 DO create a welcoming entrance that feels great to walk into. Make this space clean, well lit, and up-to-date. First impressions are critical.
3 DO invest in low cost, sweat equity. Repaint the walls a neutral light color, update light fixtures, faucets, doorknobs, and backsplashes. If you don’t have time, hiring someone to get these things completed is money well spent. If you don’t have the talent, hire an interior designer or home stager to consult for a couple of hours. Small cosmetic improvements add up.
4 DON’T do any major renovations on your home if you don’t have the time, money, or energy. Jobs like re-doing the flooring, kitchen, or bathrooms are large and stressful, particularly if you are living in your house during the work. Think rejuvenation not renovation.
5 DO invest in fixing up your outdoor patio or sitting area if you are selling during the warm months. Potential buyers love the added value of an outdoor eating or sitting space. Repaint the deck and create a comfortable space with outdoor furniture. An umbrella and barbecue will be great selling points.
6 DON’T invest in a swimming pool, hot tub, or fishpond. You won’t make your money back. You may even alienate many prospects who are put off by the maintenance involved and the potential hazard for small kids.
7 DO give your kitchen or bathroom a surface makeover. These two rooms are the most important in any home. There is no need to change your entire set up. New faucets, knobs, backsplash, moulding, sink, and paint are all easy and inexpensive updates. Remember to keep it neutral.
8 DON’T forget about the landscaping and outdoor appeal. This is the very first thing buyers will see. If they are turned off, you’ll have to work even harder on the inside. So why not give it some care? Paint your front door, give it a new handle, fix cracks in the walkway, paint the mailbox or get a new one. Fix or get new house numbers. Make it charming by trimming all your trees, bushes, grass, and by adding flowers.
9 DO Be eco-conscious when moving. Donate home fixtures that are in working order to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and bring your debris to the eco-center. Consider re-facing or repainting kitchen and bath cabinetry rather than replacing them. The more you can reuse and repurpose, the better. The goal here is to spend as little as possible for the biggest impact.
10 DON’T leave any animal marks around the house. Scratched doors, a kitty litter box, messy eating bowls, hairy blankets, and chewed up toys need to go. Not everyone is an animal lover and they might dismiss the home altogether if they are allergic.

Jennifer Lynn Walker has been active in Montreal Real Estate since 2003. She founded the Montreal Real Estate Investor’s Group, which has more than 1,100 members. She specializes in buying and selling, eco- friendly homes and helping real estate investors. For more articles and e-books and to sign up to her newsletter