Selling your home? Make sure you do it as safely as possible!

If you have listed your Silicon Valley home for sale with a real estate agent or broker, most likely you will have an electronic lockbox on your property and there also will be clear “showing instructions” on the multiple listing service or MLS.  Between these two, it should be plain how and when your home may be shown (whatever you and your Realtor agree upon). The instructions, which include how to schedule the showing, will be known only to the real estate salespeople who are members of the MLS.

You should never, ever, have people simply showing up at your front door and asking to be let in without an appointment.  You can, and probably should, say no to anyone who does this, because it’s an undue risk to just allow them access to your house. 

If a real estate licensee has called, made the appointment and shows up while you are still home, he or she can access the lock box to come through the door.  That device will electronically record who was there and when.  It’s a great system that protects all concerned.

What if you are selling “for sale by owner“?  You can set specific, possibly narrow, showing times and do so when others are present with you.  This can help protect both you and your property.  It is safer to insist that all showings be through an agent, though, so I recommend not selling without professional assistance!

Once in awhile, home sellers experience buyers who treat for-sale homes as if they are owned by no one in particular.  Some aggressive buyers may feel it’s OK to peer into the windows and even walk into the back yard!  Luckily this is not usually the case, but it’s good to be aware that it is a possibility.  If you have a gate, consider locking it to keep strangers from feeling invited to walk into your yard.  Consider adding motion detector lights or other features that dissuade people from getting too close. (There are sprinklers which can be set to go off should animals, such as deer, wander into a yard.  If you are very concerned about people doing this, that’s an approach to consider.)

Gone a lot? Perhaps putting lights on timers, and music or TV too, will keep your house or condo looking occupied and dissuade the snoopy and the squatters from going where they don’t belong.

Be safe when selling!





  • Mary Pope-Handy

    Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.

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