Most people don’t think listing their home is a safety issue, and hopefully it is not. However there are a few things that we can do to reduce the risk. Internet home listings and location-based services are just advertisements for people whom want to take things from you. So lets talk about a few of the things to watch out for.
First, children name signs. While they are cute, easy to install, and leave no lasting mark on the wall, too often I see Realtor’s publish photos of them on the web. I don’t think that kind of information should be public record. Do you really think the entire world needs to know that Christina lives at 423 Crestview. No! For your children’s sake please don’t let your agent publish those photos.
Before your agents takes pictures, make sure you put away everything that someone may want to take from you. Again, your home is going to be all over the internet and it’s contents free for the world to see. I don’t want to make it easy for the bad guys to know which house has the new apple laptop, or the 90 inch LCD flat screen is in. I want your house to look above average while having average stuff in it.
Now that you home is listed and images are all over the internet, what can you do to protect yourself while it is on the market? First, do not use location-based services like foursquare, loopt, facebook places, to tell people where you are and what you are doing. You have already showed everyone what is behind your front door, don’t tell them you are not home as well. And for God sake don’t tweet, about the good time you are having in Mexico but you miss your cat. You are just inviting people to rob your home.
Once the for sale sign goes up in the front yard, all kinds of people are going to want to see inside you house. Many of them you will know and some you will not. If you find yourself at home and a “buyer” wants to look around inside, think twice before letting them in. Who knows what kind of person they are, and letting them in your home could be dangerous. I generally tell my sellers to not show their home to anyone who is not with an agent. Ask to see the agents card. You can even check to see license status online at the Texas Real Estate Commission website.
New Technology has brought new challenges. Be smart about those thing you post online and the world will be a safer place. Caution while listing your home for sale should keep you and your family safe.