Open house safety tips to protect your property

Monday Nov 06th, 2017


Scheduling an open house is a great tool to give a large number of potential buyers the opportunity to take a look inside your home. For some people, however, letting strangers tour their private dwelling can be unnerving.

“For safety reasons, we generally try to keep strangers out of our homes, and yet 'open houses' do the very opposite,” says Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “Realtors have experience hosting open houses, and they are aware of the safety risks. With the right protections in place, you'll feel safer and more secure when inviting visitors into your residence.”

Here are some ways to safeguard yourself and your home:

Secure valuables – Remove valuables from view and store them in a safe, locked place. This includes small electronics such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices. Even prescription medicines should be removed or locked up.

Protect your identity – Bills, cheques, bank statements, passports and ID cards should be secured. Also, make sure your computers are locked with a pass code.

Inform your neighbours – Tell them about the open house and ask them to keep an eye out for anything unusual.

Secure the house – Remind your Realtor to check and lock all doors and windows after each open house.

“An open house is a marketing tactic,” says Ferris. “It should not be a safety concern, so be sure to talk to your Realtor about some precautions.”

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