Selling Your Home? Read this Listing Safety Checklist First!

Selling your home entails several important steps, including purging clutter and fixing minor repairs. However, there’s one step you should never skip when listing—using a listing safety checklist to ensure you, your family and potential buyers stay protected. Not sure where to start? Our safety checklist will help you create a safe environment before their home ever hits the market!

Listing Safety Checklist

Secure Firearms

According to recent research, 42% of American households own at least one firearm. To prevent accidents or fatalities, homeowners should lock and secure all firearms during home showings and open houses. In fact, the National Rifle Association advises that firearms should be stored unloaded and inaccessible when not in use. Using a locking gun safe is a practical way homeowners can ensure firearms are not only out of reach.

Lock Away All Prescription Drugs

While many people keep their prescription drugs easily accessible in a medicine cabinet, it’s crucial that homeowners secure all prescription drugs prior to all home tours. This can protect homeowners from losing their prescription drugs to those who might sell or abuse them. Purchasing a locking medicine cabinet and storing it out of sight during home showings reduces this risk.

Clear Your Desk

The COVID-19 work-from-home era has turned many homes into functioning as offices. Sensitive documents are usually stored in desk spaces, so homeowners should be aware of  what could easily be seen during showings. Bills with account numbers, agendas of children’s activities, business-related contracts with personal information, checkbooks or financial statements—all of these run the risk of identity theft or worse. To prevent this, homeowners should gather all critical documents and lock them in a firesafe file cabinet. As an added bonus, remember—buyers should feel like they’re touring their future home, not someone else’s home; having an office devoid of these documents in plain view will also help market the space to future buyers!

Read: Working from Home? Create a Home Office with Any Small Space!

Checking All Locks

No listing safety checklist is complete without securing home access points. As potential buyers tour homes, they tend to open doors and windows, which can inadvertently lead to an unsecured home. While it’s important that Realtors make sure the home is secured before leaving a showing, sometimes an unlocked door is missed. After every showing, homeowners should also check that every window and entry point into the home is locked and secured. This simple but crucial step can help prevent break-ins.

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(Read More: Safe and Stylish: Choosing Home Security that Matches Your Home Design)

“Appointment Only”

A “For Sale” sign in the yard is typically an open invitation for anyone to knock on a seller’s door and ask to see the home—including those who may not be interested in buying at all. For a homeowner’s safety, it’s crucial that they hire an experienced Realtor to list their home; they can screen applicants to insure they are committed to finding a home, and are financially capable of purchasing.. Homeowners should never provide their own tours to strangers. If a potential buyer knocks on your door, instruct them to call the Realtor on the “For Sale” sale sign to schedule an appointment.

Securing Your Valuables

Much like with firearms and prescription drugs, secure your heirlooms and valuables  like fine jewelry and antiquities. Anything that has tremendous sentimental or financial value should be locked and secured to prevent damage or theft.

Tip For Homeowners:

One of the most overlooked last steps for listing a home is making sure your firearms, valuables and other items are not only properly secured, but sufficiently insured. Check with your insurance company prior to listing to make sure you are carrying insurance on those items in case of damage or theft during the listing or moving stages. 

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Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.