Sellers Protect Your Valuables
While a home is listed for sale and strangers are constantly entering the home, all jewelry, true silverware, silver plate, valuable art works, and any other valuables and collectibles, should be placed in safe storage, and all prescription medicines should be kept with you or locked away. This is not paranoia, but simple prudence.
While most agents are careful to know and pre-screen their buyers, others may not, or they may become distracted during a showing, giving casual thieves an opportunity to pick up small items unobserved. Listing agents doing one time “sign call” showings for prospective buyers they don’t know or work with on a regular basis may be particularly susceptible to thieves posing as buyers.
For cameras, watches, portable electronics, medicines and other small items that need to be kept handy in the house, but might be a tempting “pick up” item, I advise sellers to use a lockable safe or office file cabinet. Or they can temporarily install a locking door knob on a small coat closet, linen closet or pantry with a standard door, and put a sign on the door to let buyers seeing the house know what the space is. These precautions won’t deter a professional break-in thief intent on robbing you, but will generally stop a casual thief using a home showing as an excuse to gain entry for nefarious purposes. Of course the sellers also must be diligent and consistent about keeping the at risk items in the designated secure location and the lock engaged every time they leave the property, or the precautions will not be effective.
For the same reason, I advise our listing agents to be cautious, and skeptical, when they get a sign call from a prospective buyer waning to meet the agent at the house for a “right away” showing. They need to set an appointment for a later time, and get confirmed identifying and contact information from the buyer. That usually means meeting the buyer prospect at our office or at a neutral location first, getting the ID and contact information and then having someone at the office record that information, in case something happens during the showing, or is reported later. In Colorado, we must also provide certain written disclosures to all prospective clients, even in “no agency” situations, so this is a good reason to have the prospect meet us at the office or neutral location to go over the paperwork in a comfortable setting.