If you’re selling your property, chances are your estate agent has advised that the best way to ensure a successful sale is to host a show day. While a show day may attract serious buyers into your home, it can also make it a target for criminals. Knowing how to take precautions and protect your home and valuables from robbery and petty theft is one way to ensure a happy result for both agent and homeowner.
“A recent trend in South Africa has shown that criminals are using show days as a means to gain entry into homes to steal valuables, or inspect the property to plan a future break in. Unfortunately, this is not a new trend, and many estate agents will arrive to host show days with their own security guard in tow, to ensure both their own safety and protect the house against theft,” says Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Dialdirect Insurance.
Dialdirect shares the following tips to ensure that your belongings are protected:
1. Ask if the agent will be providing a security guard and request their advice on how to protect your property on the day.
2. If someone else is hosting the show day on the agent’s behalf, ensure you have met them beforehand.
3. Inform your neighbour that your home is going on show and, if you are not able to be there when the show day winds down, enlist their help to make sure everything is locked up correctly.
4. Create an inventory of all valuable goods that will be left in the house. This gives you a concrete list to check against and see that everything is as it should be.
5. Do not leave your valuables lying around. Smaller items such as jewellery, décor pieces and even prescription medicine should be locked away - ideally in a safe, while larger items such as laptops or artworks should be taken off the property.
6. Identity theft is another concern, and items such as identity books, driver’s licences, vehicle registration papers and passports should also be locked away.
7. Ask your agent to walk around the property to familiarise themselves with the layout and entrances, so that they are able to keep an eye out for any problem areas.
8. Ensure that windows and side doors are secured. If there is only one point of entrance, the agent is better able to keep track of who is coming in and out.
9. Remove spare keys and do not leave in any keys in the doors, as these can easily be stolen or copied to gain access to the house at a later stage.
10. Ensure cupboards and drawers are locked.
11. Instinct is often the best form of protection - be clear with the agent that if something doesn’t feel right, they should lock up the house and ask viewers to leave.
An additional factor to consider is the safety of the viewers whilst on the property, says Tshifularo.
“It’s a good idea to take your dogs out with you for the day, simply to ensure that they do not become nervous with so many new people in the house, take care of any loose floor boards, secure rugs and carpets with non-slip material underneath and ensure that all areas are well lit to prevent accidents and liability,” he says.
Original article here