Protecting your home, family, and Realtor when putting your house on the market is a hot topic in 

today's fast-paced mobile culture. NAR, the National Association of Realtors, states 92 percent of buyers use the internet to view homes before contacting a realtor for access.  Having less than 3 seconds to capture the buyer's attention, Realtors place as many photos of your home online as possible.  Sellers be cautious, that you are opening up your home to the public. I once started working with a seller, a former college football player, and somebody mentioned to him that they saw his home online. The football jersey on a wall identified his home publicly. This is also a reason why home staging is important.

In our pre-listing meeting, your Realtor and Home Stager will guide you through securing your valuables. Examples might be:

  • Mobile devices
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Prescription medications
  • Confidential documents. 

Home staging helps us neutralize and get the best photos to maximize the buyer pool.  Remove the photos that are personal and with children in them.  Having your house for sale opens up the potential of allowing complete strangers at odd times into your home.

When interviewing a Realtor to sell your house, safety should be a topic of discussion. Verifying the buyer's identity and loan approval details with the lender before they allow access to your home is a key point of discussion.  Also ask if the Realtor uses a lock box that identifies the agent and company when the lock box is opened.  Your listing Realtor and should always receive an email when the buyer agent enters your home.  This also helps you know what time the realtor arrived so you may gauge when to return home.

Even if you are a seller with a vacant home, there are precautions that should be taken to protect your home and your Realtor.  Call the police department to let them know the house is vacant and ask to be put on a patrol list.   They and your neighbors can monitor any suspicious activity, lights left on, or any maintenance items that need to be taken care of.  Looking vacant attracts unwanted visitors.  The house should be walked through by you or your Realtor at least once a week:

  • Remove buyer agent showing cards
  • Verify doors are locked
  • Verify the temperature in the home
  • Make sure there are no leaks or other concerns. 

One reason I don’t recommend an open house:

Be aware that a public open house invites anyone from a buyer to thieves that may want to harm you.  It is important to ask the Realtor if they host public opens. (I don't for safety reasons). If there is an open house, will they be present personally to protect your home.  Most people don't pick up hitchhikers, yet some agents will allow unapproved buyer showings and public open houses thinking nothing of it.  If you are going to sell your house on your own, ask for written credit approval.  Once you receive it, call the bank to verify the accuracy.  This will also reduce the potential of fraud.  We have all heard the term buyer beware, now it is time to protect the seller as well. 


Heather Morris CRS, GRI, ABR, CLHMS, CREN

Realtor and Broker Associate

Skogman Realty