The 5 rules to staying safe and sane while selling your home

Three aspects of security are undermined by putting a home on the market. Firstly, pictures of your home, often including the furniture and fittings inside while the present tenants or sellers are still in the home, are shared online and in advertisements – this can attract the attention of unsavoury elements who might see it as a great online catalogue for “alternative shopping”.

Secondly, your address has to be given to potential buyers, so you cannot keep your home’s whereabouts safely hidden.

And thirdly, when marketing the property with a show day, strangers will need to be able to access the home and look around in it. This is the exact opposite to how you would normally handle home security.

1. Never show a house alone
Whether you are selling your home yourself, or using the services of a professional estate agent; it is very important to plan your selling appointments, or a show house well ahead of time, to ensure optimal security.

You, and/or your agent, will be meeting strangers and showing them through the property.

Do not allow anyone to enter the property unless an appointment has been made, and the person is accompanied by your estate agent.

During the course of marketing your home, make it a habit to keep all valuables out of sight and put away. Tell your employees to never allow anyone access to the property, unless authorised by you.

It is not unreasonable to ask your estate agent to have someone on duty with them, whilst having a show house, to assist with security access and for peace of mind.

2. Use a reputable agent
One of the best things about using a professional to market your home is the benefit of their expertise and experience in pre-qualifying potential buyers, and reading people well. After, all, their livelihoods rely on them being able to understand what motivates people to buy homes. Why not use this to help you get the best price possible.

Do your homework – estate agents must be registered with the EAAB and have a Fidelity Fund Certificate. Estate Agents must adhere to a Code Of Conduct. Ask your agent for their FFC number and proof of current year registration.

Invite agents to give you a presentation of how they would market your home, their recommended listing price and how they can assist you with their services. This will give you a clear idea of whom you would like to entrust the marketing and sale of your property with.

3. Keep records of visitors
Agents will keep a list of who has visited your property for their records, security purposes and to protect you from a double commission claim, should more than one company be marketing your home.

At a show house, you or your agent should ask all visitors for their name, phone number, address and also make note of their car registration number if possible. While 99% of show house visitors are harmless and legitimately house hunting; one has to be mindful of security.

4. Trust your gut
Whilst prospective buyers and tenants will enquire about general security, it is not the norm for the buyer to insist on a comprehensive explanation of every security feature, position of beams, ceiling or roof sensors and which windows are wired to the alarm, on first viewing.  This type of questioning should set off warning bells!

Know your agency and their agents! Allow only 1 or 2 trusted agents to make their offices’ viewing appointments with you. This keeps strict control over your appointments, and eliminates anyone from posing as one of that company’s agents.

5. General
Selling your home can be one of the most stressful times, for the entire family. Make sure that you entrust this process to an experienced and reputable agent.

You do not need a vast number of estate agents to sell your home. Price your home accurately and it will sell faster and at the right price. Buyers buy by comparison.

They have seen almost every home in their price range. Over pricing a property in the hope that a buyer will come along and pay an inflated price is a waste of valuable marketing time and creates unnecessary stress.
Familiarise yourself with the properties for sale in your area and remember – there can be a very big difference between an asking price and a selling price!

Leave the selling of your home in experienced hands by visiting the experts at either on their website or by visiting their facebook page.

There you can view their latest properties and pick up lots of tips for both sellers and buyers on their page, or phone Penny Irvine at their Westville office at 90 Jan Hofmeyer Road, Westville
on either 082 750 6718, or 031 266 0731, or drop them an email: [email protected]


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