When you are deciding to sell a home in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, or anywhere really, you are deciding to put photos, floor plans and virtual tours onto the world wide web for the entire world to see and your real estate agent is most likely planning an open house as well.
This may come as a surprise, but there are some real estate agents that don’t enjoy doing open houses and have found a clever way to deter a seller from doing an open house. They are playing to a seller’s fear of getting robbed!!! Yes, you just read that correctly.
A real estate professional would NEVER, EVER try to get out of an aspect of their job that they hate right? Wrong!
These “professionals” will try to “educate” a potential seller by trying to convince you that the open house is conducted by one real estate agent and that they cannot keep track of everyone entering and roaming around your home. What they are really trying to tell you is that they hate doing open houses and would rather stay home on a weekend.
While it is true that when you list your home for sale and do an open house, you are letting any looky-loo in. Your nosy neighbors will stop by, someone driving by and saw the sign will stop by, and mostly interested buyers will stop in, etc. While the purpose of the open house, especially in this seller’s market that we are in, is to get as many people into the home at once as opposed to you, the seller, being subjected to a hundred private showings over the course of a few days. Most sellers would prefer to be out of their home for a couple hours on a Sunday vs. different times of the day during the weekend and into the work-week. And let’s face it, during a hot seller’s market, and any market, the main goal is to get a bidding war happening and an open house will do precisely that. If you have 30 couples in your house at one time, the group mentality is that all these people want this house then I must want this house.
Bidding wars are great, but this mentality can back-fire as well, because when you don’t give buyers enough time to go home and think about the house and they do an offer, Buyer will most likely have buyer’s remorse and then back out of the deal immediately. Our advice to our sellers is to not put a ridiculous deadline on submitting offers because this past year, we’ve seen more homes come back on the market after a day or 2 of accepting an offer because of buyers remorse. Getting 10 offers isn’t going to help you if after sleeping on it a buyer backs out. So you should always put the offer submission deadline a couple of days AFTER the open house, not the next day which is common practice with real estate agents. Let the potential buyer call their real estate agent and allow them to view the home together during a private showing.
It is also true that an open house will not sell your home. And an open house will expose your chosen real estate agent to potential buyers and potential sellers for future referrals for your agent. Open house concept was likely created by a clever real estate agent as a means to get more business for themselves and a by-product of that open house idea also allowed more people to see the home in a 2 hour period vs. many showings over the course of a week. No one wants to live in the fish bowl and keep their home in pristine condition day after day so that your home is ALWAYS ready for a showing during the week. You’re busy getting ready to go to work, get the kids to school, etc., so an open house definitely helps alleviate that stress.
DO OPEN HOUSES SUBJECT YOU TO BEING BURGLARIZED?
The answer is no more than just listing your home for sale. And I will tell you why. When you list your home for sale and your real estate agent says they do floor plans and virtual tours, these things will be posted online. If a would-be burglar is checking real estate listings for open houses so they can go and “case” your house, they can certainly do the same thing with virtual tours AND floor plans. With the floor plans you are broadcasting the layout of your home and most burglars start in the master bedroom when burglarizing a home. A virtual tour or 360 tour is also showing the criminal, from the comfort of THEIR own home, possessions you have in your home, whether or not you have a pet or an alarm system, room locations, potential points of entry, etc. So you can see, an open house is no bigger threat than posting your floor plans and virtual tours online.
- They occur between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Would be burglar usually lives within 2 miles of target home
- Is a young adult
- Property crimes decreased 1.4% for the 14th consecutive year
- Most common items stolen – cash, jewelry, prescription drugs, electronics
- Master Bedroom is the first place they start
- 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
- 23% of burglars gain entrance through a first-floor window.
- 22% of burglars break into a home through a back door.
- 9% of burglars enter a home through the garage.
- 4% of burglars get in a home through an unlocked entrance.
- 2% of burglars enter somewhere on the second floor.
Common sense should prevail here, but let’s face it – we are all busy and put things off. There are precautions you can and should take and not just when selling your home. These include:
- put away items of value, such as cash, jewelry, electronics, prescription drugs, guns, ammunition, etc. If you have a safe, obviously use it. If you want to purchase one, go for it. Just make sure these items are not laying around;
- Don’t leave paperwork around that contains account numbers, bank names, checkbooks, etc. These should ALWAYS be stored away properly;
- consider installing a security system or dummy security system;
- get some “large dog” items such as a food and water bowls, a door mat that indicates you have a dog;
- If you have a dog door, make sure you lock that at night or when you aren’t home;
- consider working with a team of real estate agents. Because teams will have more than one realtor at your open house;
- always make sure windows and doors are closed and locked;
- make sure the lock box installed on your home isn’t displaying the code. Scramble it always to 0 0 0 0 so that you always know. Sometimes real estate agents will forget to scramble the code after showing your home so this quick step is a MUST;
- consider installing a combination door lock instead of having a lock box installed for the showings.
FBI 2016 CRIME STATISTICS
HOME BURGLARY STATS
When the Key To The Dream/Coldwell Banker Team does an open house, we have anywhere from 2-4 people assisting at the open house. It’s one of the benefits of working with a team. Using the above precautions will also go a long way in being proactive about your homes’ security. We at the KTTD team believe in being honest and ethical ALWAYS.
And remember, just because you are listing your home for sale does NOT mean you are sending an open invitation to burglars.
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