Is Your Los Angeles House for Sale? Think Safety First!
Is your Los Angeles house for sale? Think safety first– safety for yourself and your loved ones, safety for your possessions, and even safety for your identity.
While it’s likely that every person visiting your home will be honest and upright, all it takes is one creep posing as a home buyer (or agent) to create chaos and even disaster. So don’t let it happen – be prepared.
Safety for your possessions and your identity is easiest to ensure.
First, be careful not to leave valuables laying around. That includes money, small objects that fit easily into pockets, prescription drugs, and of course – credit cards. If you have a safe or a locking cabinet, put these things behind a locked door. If you don’t, at least put them in the bottom of a drawer where someone would really have to “dig around” to find them.
As for your identity – put all of your mail in the proper file and in the file cabinet. This is especially important for any mail dealing with insurance, your mortgage, doctor visits, bank statements, credit card accounts, stocks and bonds, your children’s school records, and anything else that might contain your name, your Social Security numbers, and/or any other identifying information.
Next: Personal safety first
If you have children, take their photos off the walls. (If you hired a stager, you’ve already put all personal photos away as a means of de-personalizing the house.)
Have the kids put away anything with their names on it before they leave home each morning. Remove the “Gary’s Room” sign from the bedroom door and the poster declaring that this is “Alice’s Room.” Be SURE that nothing identifying your children appears in any online photos of your home.
Insist that all showings are done by appointment and with the real estate agent present. Most agents now pre-qualify buyers, and most crooks don’t want to be looked at that closely, so chances are good that all buyers accompanying agents will be legitimate.
But what about that agent? If someone knocks on the door, says he or she is an agent, and wants to come in with a buyer, should you say yes? NO. Let that agent contact your agent and make an appointment.
Anyone can knock on a door and claim to be an agent – and anyone can have phony business cards printed.
Local agents know each other, either personally, by reputation, or by seeing their listings in MLS. They would look closely at any stranger claiming to be an agent and wanting access to your house. They’re also suspicious of any agent who doesn’t have access to lockboxes. Most would choose to accompany such an agent rather than let them show the home alone.
What if you or your kids are home alone?
Instruct your children and follow the rule yourself: Don’t open the door to any stranger who doesn’t have a prior appointment. Just pretend you’re not home. Don’t give a “bad guy” an opportunity to “muscle in.”
Having strangers coming through your Los Angeles house is part of having it offered for sale. But you can and should control who those strangers are.
Always think safety first. Are you considering a move in the near future? Powerhouse Real Estate is here to help you before, during, and after the process. Darryl has prepared an e-book “Home Seller’s Guide to Money Making Fix-Ups” that we would like to offer you or anyone you know.
Visit our office at 433 N. Camden Dr. Suite 400, Beverly Hills, CA.