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Monday, July 27, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Protect Your Unoccupied Home When Selling

Selling your vacant home can be an opening for burglary or vandalism.  What can a seller do to lessen the chance that their vacant for sale home will not be a victim?

If you are selling then it is likely not a secret.   This assumes you have met and know your neighbors by the time you are moving!

Let your neighbors know your house is vacant and your real estate agent's name/contact information.  (This might help get your home sold if someone asks them about your house.)    Let them know what kind of car your real estate agent drives. 

Do not neglect your yard maintenance.   Keep the grass trimmed and the flower beds well maintained.  If other neighborhood homes look well groomed, make sure your home fits in.

Brighten up your home's exterior.   If you do not already have them consider outdoor lighting.   A well lighted yard can discourage would be burglars from hiding in landscaping as well as provide cover for window entry.  Lights with motion sensors are even better.  The goal is to make your home less appealing and approachable to criminals.  A further step would be to place some lights on timers within your home.

If your home has an alarm, use it.   Make sure your real estate agent includes "Alarm on" in the message to other real estate agents.   Even if it is only a local alarm when it goes off uninvited types usually retreat!

Consider letting your neighborhood watch (if you have one) know your house is vacant.   Just as some police departments will do routine checks while you are on vacation, check with your local department about performing periodic checks as well.

Find out from your real estate agent the type of access controls they will have in place on your home.   Are they using a combination lock box to hold the key?  In my opinion this is the least secure of all control mechanisms.

Will your real estate agent be using an electronic lock box such as the Supra lock box where each agent has an individual pin number for controlled access.  These devices will allow listing agents (and owners if possible/desired) to receive an email when your house key is accessed.

Ask your agent if they will ever go by and check on the home.   I make it a policy to go by my unoccupied listings whenever there have been recent showings and, at a minimum, every two or three days if there have been no showings.   Not only does it allow me to pick up real estate agent cards left after the showings but also  to check doors and windows.   Although agents should always double check all doors before leaving a showing, mistakes happen.

Finally, if your home is vacant but still has furniture present make sure personally identifying documents and data (PCs) are secure.  Ideally important papers, medications, computer data and weapons should be moved removed if the house is unoccupied.

Remember, most real estate agents do not personally know their buyers.  Your listing agent will not know the buyers either.  While real estate agents try their best to securely protect your home while in your house, do what you can as well.

If you are considering selling your Melbourne, Florida home, please give me a call (321-693-3850, direct)  if I can help in any way.

Send me an email to request a comparative market analysis.

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at

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