When selling a home, arranging an open day is an excellent way to introduce it to prospective buyers. It does however create serious safety concerns for the person who is showing the house and the property. In the past, thieves have posed as prospective buyers to gain easy access to properties. It is advisable to take extra caution when planning and attending show days.
AHEAD OF 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 on meeting with them and explain the safety arrangements to them as well.
* Infirm 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 to put a stop to any ideas criminals may have to return to your home when no-one is there.
* In a bid to discourage would-be thieves, make sure rooms are well-lit by keeping the blinds and 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 other 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 viewer’s vehicles.
* If you are not able to have an assistant, never leave the front entrance to the house open while you are showing the home.
* When showing a house by yourself, 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.