If you are planning on selling your Windsor property this spring, then chances are, your home will soon be open to all kinds of buyers. The question you need to ask yourself, besides, “How much should I sell my house for?” and “Should I stage my home?” is “Are my secrets and personal information safe?”
Believe it or not, buyers can find out about the owners by innocent clues left out and about. I suggest to all sellers that they take the time to protect themselves before they list their home. Here are some suggestions:
1. Buyers Look in Drawers:
If cabinets or drawers are built-in, then buyers can open them. They may want to simply check its construction or storage depth. Therefore, remove all documents of a personal nature and secure in a safe place.
2. Secure All Mail:
Many times buyers will notice mail that has been left out on the counter and this can tell the buyer quite a bit of information that a seller may not want them to know. For example, if you are getting mail from your mortgage company, or second notices from a bill collector, then buyers will immediately assume you are having money issues and they may offer a much lower price than what you are listing it for. This is also true for vacant homes where mail is scattered all over the entryway. A buyer doesn’t need to know your personal business because believe me, they will use it against you.
3. Personal Contents in Closets:
Don’t leave clues about your lifestyle hanging in your closet. Buyers will walk inside, open doors, check the amount of storage and might discover something you don’t want them to. Take a day and clean out and stage closets, empty drawers and remove anything that is remotely private and personal.
4. Take Information Off Refrigerator:
First of all, paperwork left on the refrigerator should always be removed just from a staging standpoint. However, sellers often leave personal information, like doctor appointment reminders, billing information, pay stubs or checks ready for deposit or anything else that is not for the buyer’s eyes. Don’t leave a calendar out that includes your daily appointments or schedules or those of your family. You don’t want visitors to know that you will be away an upcoming weekend for example.
5. Clear out prescription medications:
Buyers will look through medicine cabinets. You don’t want buyers to see if you have a health issue or taking other prescriptions regularly.
6. Take all of your small electronics with you:
This includes iPads, iPods, laptops, cell phones and chargers. Store in a box or Rubbermaid type container and keep in your locked trunk or again, in a secured, locked file.
7. Remove All Information That Says Too Much:
Stash away any materials that give buyers personal information about yourself, including and especially, information on your children. Remove trophies and photos or anything where their name is prominently displayed.
How To Protect Your Information:
1. Check your mail regularly and shred any information you no longer need and store the rest away in a locked file or safe. Remove all tax records or anything and place in a storage facility or lock in your car trunk prior to showings before you drive away.
2. For valuables, get a safe deposit box at the bank. Put jewelry, important documents or anything else you believe necessary here.
3. If your realtor will host an open house, make sure that there are other realtors to assist them if you expect large crowds. You don’t want to have more buyers than you can handle. Thefts do happen during open houses unfortunately, so allowing too many buyers when there is only one agent may be a problem. Make sure your agent will not allow anyone to walk through the home unattended.
Overall, the key is to protect you and your family for those buyers that may have a wandering eye. Only let those who are with an agent walk through your home and with an appointment. But make sure that your personal items and information are safely secure.