When you list your house for sale you have a lot to worry about. So much to worry about, in fact, that it’s common to overlook sensitive items that need to be removed from the home. Let’s briefly go over common items that sellers forget to remove from their home before potential buyers start arriving.
1. Prescription medications.
Check your bathroom cabinets, kitchen drawers, desks drawers, and anywhere else you may store medication, and get it all out of the house. The majority of prescription medications are non-narcotic and therefore unattractive to potential thieves, but there are others, such as strong paint pills, antidepressants, and ADHD medications that are highly sought after. To avoid trouble, it is best to remove all medications prior to inviting potential buyers into your home.
Hiding your jewelry in a box or drawer or closet is not enough. Remember that potential buyers (not to mention nosy neighbors) will be opening every door and drawer checking for squeaks, creeks, and storage capacity. This goes for menswear like watches and cufflinks as well as more traditional jewelry pieces.
If you have a calendar on your fridge or wall, take it down well before potential buyers arrive. In addition to reminding the guest that the house is currently occupied, it can give away sensitive information about your family, such as dates or vacations or pickup on and drop off times for kids. Giving out information like this to the wrong person can result in an untimely home invasion or worse.
Let’s be honest, you have a checkbook you haven’t used in years stashed away in a drawer somewhere for emergencies. We all do. The last thing we want is for your bank account and routing number to fall into the wrong hands. Best to play it safe and remove checkbooks, bank statements, and other financially sensitive information.
5. Tax Returns.
Filed away somewhere, probably near your checkbook, are years of tax returns containing a treasure trove of sensitive information – enough to fully assume your identity and purchase lots of brand-new stuff on your credit, or to file on your behalf and collect that juicy tax return. Let’s avoid identity theft by making sure your tax returns are out of the house.
6. Guns and Ammo.
Whether you are a first responder, active duty or retired military, a hunter, or even just a collector, it is tremendously important to remove all firearms and ammo from the house. Even if they are locked away in a safe or gun cabinet, just the information that you have the weapons in your home can be enough to attract the wrong kind of attention.
7. Electronics and Computers.
Laptop computers, gaming consoles, cameras, handheld devices, and any other expensive electronics should be removed. We live in a digital world and digital devices are in demand and expensive; don’t let yours fall into the wrong hands.
8. Fragile Items.
Do you have a beautiful antique guitar on display? Delicate glass figurines? Geode crystals? If you wouldn’t let a 5-year-old play with it, get it out of your house. Families with young children probably don’t have many fragile items on display (for obvious reasons), but adults often do. Assume that families with kids will be visiting your home and remove fragile items before an accident happens.
Hope for the best and plan for the worst when it comes to open houses and showings. That isn’t to say that theft or perfidy is overly prevalent, in fact it is very rare, but this is definitely a case of better safe than sorry, especially since you already have a tremendous amount on your plate.
If you need help buying or selling your home, or you just have questions, the talented staff at Sellstate Alliance Realty and Property Management would be more than happy to help.