‘Open Home’ says it all really. You’re opening your home to anyone.
So how do you know who’s stepping through the door? There will of course be sticky beak neighbours – and we’ve all done it – but it can get much worse than the nosy lady from next-door wanting to compare interior decorating styles.
Thefts during open homes are happening more and more regularly – and depending on your insurance policy, you may not be covered. After all, there was no break in – the burglars were invited.
Of course everyone signs the register as they enter, but if a person’s motive is stealing, then it’s quite likely their honesty on paper will come into question too. It’s rather easy to fake a name and number then disappear, without a trace, valuables in tow.
Petty theft is just one part. Open homes are also a great way for local criminals prospecting their next burglary to get a very clear idea of what they could walk away with, and how they could break in next time the home is not so open.
We recently read an article suggesting prospective buyers should take photos in open homes to jog their memory of a property later on. In our minds this is a real invasion of privacy and also a very simple way for burglars to scope out a property!
So, what safety measures do agents offer? Well, with just one agent in an open home and many people attending, how can they keep a genuine eye on your possessions? We’ve seen examples where a busy agent has left a teenager alone at the property taking names! That’s hardly a deterrent to any wayward visitors.
We believe qualifying buyers and viewing by appointment only is a much safer strategy – and more likely to sell your property too. Genuine buyers are well looked after by personal appointment, and dodgy characters would never attempt to make one. By appointment the agent is there to personally answer all the questions a potential buyer has, and the buyer can have a really thorough look around without hoards of other people filling rooms and voicing their opinions.
There have been cases where a purchaser set on buying the property, spoke loudly and negatively about it during the open home in the hope of discouraging other potential purchasers. Did these tactics work? We doubt it – but why risk the exposure to such games?
We know from experience that open homes are totally unnecessary for selling your home at a good price. Take a look at our other reasons why – #1: Genuine buyers will come no matter what, #3: Promoting your property or your agent?.
If you want to know more about a smarter and safer way to market your property, give us a call anytime.
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