Dear David: We’ve lived in our house for 20 years. We are seniors now, and ready to downsize. Last time we sold a house, the process of showing it seemed a little casual. How do we know our home will be safe? – FEELING UNEASY
DEAR UNEASY: Things have changed a lot in the last 20 years, but people really haven’t. We like to believe that 99.9 percent of folks are acting in good faith, but just in case, some basic safety precautions can help protect your home.
Before putting your house on the market, tuck away any valuable or potentially dangerous items that could easily be stowed in a pocket or purse. Jewelry, cash and electronics, including iPads, laptops and video games, should be hidden from sight. You’ll also want to remove your medications from obvious storage places like the medicine cabinet, nightstand, or countertop.
Realtors and real estate brokerages have made remarkable advances in terms of security over the past few decades. This is one of the reasons why hiring a real estate professional makes so much sense. Twenty years ago, push-button lock boxes allowed agents to re-use security codes across multiple properties, but the arrival of electronic lock boxes has changed the security landscape.
Here in Waterloo Region, our lock boxes are Bluetooth-enabled and highly secure. They require a unique entry code for each individual showing, at every property. When a showing is booked, the agent is vetted through the booking system or listing brokerage. This allows us to protect your home by ensuring the showing agents are legitimate licensed Realtors in Ontario, and therefore bound by strict provincial guidelines.
Each showing that is booked must be approved by the seller, through their agent. When the seller approves an appointment, the agent who requested it must bring their buyers to the home at the agreed-upon time. When the agent arrives, the electronic lock box identifies them by connecting to an app on their phone. It will only release if the correct credentials are presented at the right time. Every lock box entry and exit is time stamped, so we always know who is in the house, and that the agent is legitimate.
PRO TIP: Home security is a team effort. Once inside a house, I make it a practice to keep my buyers close at hand but this can’t be guaranteed across the board. Unlike a guided tour at the Pentagon where you need to hold the rope, some visitors may wander and agents don’t have a full security detail to help protect your home. Carefully stowing your valuables is the missing piece to help keep your home safe. #AskDavid #Advice.
David is a top local Realtor who makes the time to help you personally when selling or buying your home. Moving? Get it right. Speak to David today! Call or text 519-577-1212.