How to protect your property during a buyer ‘open house’

Family with real estate agent

How comfortable would you feel opening your home to a complete stranger? Under normal circumstances, most people would never let strangers roam around their home, but it’s a key component of an open house when selling a home. It’s important to understand the potential for theft or damage.

“Holding an open house can be a great way to attract potential buyers, but it’s important to consider safety and security,” says Joseph Richer, registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario.

Fortunately, a few simple steps can go a long way. Protect your valuables, such as:

    • Portable electronics,
    • Jewelry and other valuables,
    • Passport and travel documents,
    • Receipts, bills and personal information
    • Prescription medication.

Thieves know to look in closets and sock drawers, so the items should be placed somewhere secure, like a safe, or offsite at a friend’s home.

Keep track of who enters the property by having your real estate professional ask each visitor to show identification and complete a registration form.

Ask your representative to limit the number of visitors at one time, or to bring an assistant to ensure that all visitors are escorted as they tour the property.

“It’s important to remember that it’s your home, and you set the rules for visitors,” says Richer.

“Communicate early and openly with your registered broker or salesperson about how the open house will work.”

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