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Staying Safe When Selling Your Home

If you haven’t heard or noticed, the real estate market is super HOT right now in Central Kentucky. It is a great time to put your house on the market. And if you are like many home owners thinking of selling, you have probably entertained the thought of selling your home without a realtor, as a “For Sale By Owner”.  I can’t blame you for wanting to reap all of the profit possible.

Going For-Sale-by-Owner is not for the faint of heart. In the beginning, you take the home selling process in stride, but over time, the process of marketing your home, showing your home, arranging inspections, and completing the paperwork create a great deal of stress for not only you, but for your entire family The average person spends 24-40 hours selling one home, and some people dedicate 80-120 hours to the entire process.

So be prepared.  Do your homework before you put a sign in your yard.  I always tell my clients, and future clients, to “be educated, smart and safe”.  If you want to have the best chance at success, then you need to be completely prepared for the journey.

If you are thinking about selling your home or investment property, let me know! I supply home owners looking to sell their home an “Insider’s Guide to Selling Their Home By Owner” full of tips and how to’s to help you in your journey.  It’s free of charge and my way of helping you in the process because I am quite sure you will thank me with the gift of a referral, and need my services in some way in the future.

One of the most important things in selling your home is staying safe. Excitement and eagerness can tend to let our guard down on simple precautions that will not only protect your home and it’s assets, but more importantly your family.  Here is a little known fact that most For-Sale-by-Owners do not realize. You are inviting thieves into your home when you put it on the market.

Criminals see a home for sale and view it as an opportunity. After all, what easier way is there for a criminal to get inside your home? Thieves love homes for sale. Not because they are looking for a home. Because they are looking for something to steal.

When criminals come thru your home they see:
• If you have anything worth a trip back to steal.
• Whether or not you are an easy target.
• How your security system works.
• Whether or not you turn on your security system.
• The back door and how well you lock it.
• All of the most intimate details of your personal life.
• You may slip up and tell them when you won’t be home. It is so easy to say, “Oh, I can’t show your spouse the home next Thursday. We will be out of town on vacation.”

I am not telling you this to scare you.
I just want to make sure that you and your family are safe. Selling For-Sale-by-Owner does not have to be risky. However, I meet For-Sale-By-Owners every day that do not realize the risks associated with the business.  Realtors must understand the risks associated with their business. They are the ones who are the most likely to be robbed, assaulted, or murdered. For-Sale-by-Owners are than willing to allow anyone to view their home. Some people may take advantage of you. Most won’t. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

You don’t have to put yourself in danger.

I have included a Safety Checklist that you can use to stay safe.
This checklist shows you how to avoid being robbed when selling your home, and…. how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the process.

Just read thru the checklist and see if there are any safety items that you are missing. And if you want my whole guide to Selling Your Home by Owner email me at melia@meliarealty.com.

Home Sellers Safety Checklist
Before you put your home on the market.
_____ Remove or lock up valuables. Don’t think that hiding them is good enough.

Here is a quick list of potential valuables.
_____ Prescription Drugs. These are valuable to drug users and some people sell them.

_____ Any type of financial statement.

_____ Bank statements.

_____ Passports.

_____ Extra keys.

_____ Weapons.

_____ Zip Drives. Most zip drives have very little security settings and allow anyone to access any and all files on the drive.

_____ Unopened Mail. Thieves can use this to steal your identity.

_____ Wine and Cigars.

_____ Tidy up your house. If everything looks neat in its proper place, then it will be much harder for someone to walk off with something.

_____ Hide your family calendar. Burglars don’t need to know when you plan on leaving for vacation.

_____ Put away pictures of your children.

_____ Lock your computer with a password. Take out all zip drives and lock them up with your valuables.

_____ Plan out what you will do with your children and/or pets during showings. You don’t want strangers to have easy access to your children or pets.

_____ Look for any potential hazards to buyers. You don’t want anyone to get hurt on your property and have to deal with the resulting fallout.

Safety Checklist For Showing Your Home
Reference this before you show your home to a prospective buyer.

_____ Never show the home alone. You want to have someone else there for safety reasons and to help keep track of everyone. Many buyers bring their kids. Or, they show up with an unexpected tag along and tell you, “My friend is visiting me from out of town and I want them to see the home I may buy.”

_____ Be careful what you tell buyers. Don’t tell them where you work, what your work hours are, or your vacation plans. Don’t answer questions about this either.

_____ Stop and familiarize yourself with all of the different exits that your home has available. At the same time, check out the yard and the exits that are available there.

_____ Stay with all parties the entire time. Don’t allow 2-3 people to wander around your house. They can steal or leave a window unlocked for a return visit.

_____ Only show your home to one party at a time.

_____ Keep your car keys and cell phone with you at all times.

_____ Don’t wear expensive jewelry.

_____ Push for daytime showings. If a buyer is busy during the week, then offer to show them your home on the weekend.

_____ Be very cautious of red flags. Examples are visitors late at night or early in the morning, two or more visitors, or people that aren’t willing to setup an appointment.

_____ Setup appointments with prospective buyers. The person who randomly knocks on your door is rarely a good buyer. If someone does randomly knock on your door, then ask them to wait a few minutes before you show them your home. Then, close and LOCK the door and do the showing precautions you normally would.

_____ Before you show your home, park your car where it cannot be boxed in by another car. This enables you to leave quickly if necessary.

_____ Before you show the home, let someone know about it. Tell them to check on you in 30 minutes. Tell them to call your phone at that time. If you don’t answer, then they should contact the authorities. You can also setup a secret phrase to let them know that you are uncomfortable. For example, “Let’s meet at Starbucks later.”

_____ When the buyer first shows up tell them that a friend will be arriving shortly. You can tell them, “Let’s go thru the house. We have plenty of time, but my friend John is coming over soon.”

_____ Ask buyers for identification. Make a copy of their driver’s license. If you have a smart phone, then take a picture of that and text the picture to someone you know.

_____ Always walk behind the buyer. Do not let them walk behind you. It’s a lot easier for someone to attack you from behind.

_____ Don’t let a visitor box you inside a room. Follow them into a room.

_____ If you feel uncomfortable, then step into the next room to make a phone call. Pretend it is a routine conversation, but remember to mention, “Let’s meet at Starbucks later” or whatever the safety phrase you and your friend rehearsed earlier. Stay on the phone until the prospective buyer leaves. The mere fact that you are having a conversation with someone will cause most criminals to put their plans on hold.

_____ Check on your home after the buyers leave. Some people have intentionally unlocked a window and plan to come back later to burglarize the home. If you have any questions, then please give me a call. I want to make sure that everyone selling their home is able to do so without any problems.

If you would like a complete copy of my booklet please give me a call at 859-351-3661 or shoot me an email at melia@meliarealty.com.  It’s completely free of charge because I respect the fact that you’d like to give it a try on your own. Just know that if at any point in the “FSBO” process you change your mind, I’m here to help you.

Simply give me a call or shoot me an email, and we’ll talk about where you’re at in the process and where you want to go. Then, we’ll proceed to get you there! In the meantime, best of luck to you and yours!

My Best, Melia Hord
Your Real Estate Professional of Choice
CEO, Melia Realty Group

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