Sellers and agents should take precaution as they prepare for and host show houses. An open day is a great way to introduce a property that is for sale to prospective buyers. However it does present serious safety concerns for whoever will manage the show-house.
“While one cannot plan for every eventuality, it is important that the seller and agent discuss any security concerns either may have,” says Adrian Good, General Manager: Subscriber Coastal, ADT Security. Good has the following advice for sellers and agents:
Ahead of the show day:
- Meet with your agent. Be firm about the arrangements you want in place to safeguard your property and to ensure their safety.
- If someone will stand-in for your agent on show day, insist that you meet them and explain the safety arrangements to them as well.
- Inform your security company that your home will be on show. Ask them to have armed response stop by randomly during the open-house to check that everything is in order.
On the day:
- Lock away any spare keys (for entry and exit doors or the garage) and other valuables that are small enough to fit into a pocket or handbag; or take them with you.
- Store large, expensive items in a cupboard that locks.
- Make sure rooms are well-lit by keeping the blinds or curtains open and, where necessary, the lights on.
- Encourage viewings on show day “by appointment” only. This way, groups of visitors will be easier to handle.
- Consider having an assistant on the day who can receive prospective buyers while you are taking others around the property. If possible, position your assistant near the front door or a front window so that they can write down the make, model and registration numbers of viewers’ vehicles.
- If you are alone, never leave the front entrance to the house open while you are showing the home.
- Don’t be shy to ask that your visitors stay with you throughout the viewing; this could avoid a situation in which someone wanders off unsupervised.