How Safe Is It To Have Strangers In My Home During Open For Inspections?
When you put your home on the market to sell it, one thing that always happens is people have to come and visit your home to see it in person.
It’s rare (but thanks to covid, not quite as rare these days) for a buyer to purchase without having seen inside and outside the property in person before buying.
That’s where home opens or “open for inspections” (OFI) come into play.
The agent advertises your property for buyers to come and inspect inside & out, and fingers crossed, if all goes well, someone falls in love with your home, puts in an offer and you finally sell!
Naturally this raises a common concern for home sellers, which is: how risky is it letting total strangers into their home? Is something valuable going to get stolen or damaged?
I discuss the topic in this video so that you can understand how to protect yourself from any theft or damage issues.
This video segment was pulled from a long interview I did back in Feb 2022, where I answered a heap of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about real estate.
Once you’ve watched the video, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: The video was filmed in portrait mode rather than landscape, which is why it is narrow rather than wide. For the best viewing experience, I recommend you click the Full Screen mode button.
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So we quite often get asked with regards to open for inspections, for instance like there’s multiple people going through homes, and there’s obviously strangers.
They don’t know them. But the homeowners do not know who these people are.
A lot of the time the agent is meeting them for the first time as well at the open for inspection.
So one of the questions that comes up is people go, what about my stuff? What about my jewellery? What about my iPhone? What about my iPad? What about my stuff?
Because strange people are going to come into my home, and how, what’s the risk?
So one of the things I always say is that, thankfully, and I’m going to touch some wood right now. Thankfully, in hundreds and hundreds of open homes, I have never had a theft or a problem. Touching wood again.
Common sense does apply though.
If there is the advice that I give to every client before we even list the property, as we’re talking about the sale process is the fact that we require ID.
So we need to know who the people are, and have photographic ID of those people.
And we take all of their details obviously, and they are kept.
Can we hand over to the homeowner, technically no. Privacy laws do come into it with identifying information that under the privacy law, that information has been given to the agent and the agency to be stored.
If, however, something does go wrong, we can and do and would hand that over to the relevant authorities.
But a common sense rule is: if it is highly fragile, highly sentimental, or highly valuable, put it away.
Nobody will deliberately do the wrong thing during an inspection.
However, the main culprits that I have seen where things have been potentially touched or moved or attractive have been children.
And they’re not doing it out of an evilness.
They are seeing something shiny.
They are seeing a toy for instance, that they want or they’ve had at home and they think it’s theirs or whatever, and they are attracted to it.
So when we want the parents to be able to relax, and to take in all the details of the home.
If we take away those risks, then everybody has a good experience through the inspection process.