How to Reduce the Risk of Theft at an Open House

Open inspections are an open invitation to anyone! It is important to take precautions to help ensure the safety of the resident’s property as well as the agent and prospective buyers themselves.

Whilst in most cases open inspections are quite straightforward, security measures should always be put in place at an open house.  Going through these with the seller (your client) and making suggestions about steps they can take to reduce their risk, will help to assure them that you have the situation under control. 

Here are some simple suggestions to help make your open house as risk-free as possible.

•    Hide all valuables and medications
It is strongly advised that you encourage your client to lock loose valuable items in a safe place away from the premises until sold. A good suggestion is for your client to rent a safety deposit box – under short term circumstances some banks offer them for free.

•    Remove all forms of identity
To reduce potential identity fraud put away all traces of bills, bank statements and credit card receipts. For privacy reasons it is also suggested you tell your client to remove personal photos, especially if they are a public figure or celebrity.

•    Peek inside big bags

If you feel you have a suspicious situation there is nothing wrong with kindly asking a person to show you what is inside their large bag.  Try to be professional and confident in your request - your intentions to prevent theft are good and most people should happily comply.

•    Show photo ID

If your client is concerned about the prospect of total strangers in their home, you may wish to offer piece of mind by requesting each prospective property buyer shows photo identification (the details of which you duly note down) before entering the house.

•    By Appointment only

It is not uncommon to conduct all inspections by appointment only. Personally escorting the potential buyer through each room will allow you to control the situation and their actions to a much greater extent.

•    Having the seller present

If your client is uncomfortable there is always the option of them being present during the open house.   Alternatively, it could be suggested that a friend of the seller attends.

Such simple safety measures can be an effective way to protect your open house.  Your use of them can reflect well on you as an agent, and will instil confidence in your client.   Be an agent who respects the privacy and safety of your client.

Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 23/06/2010 at 10:00 AM | Categories:


Carlene Franzen

Carlene Franzen wrote on 04/07/2010 9:41 PM

We always conduct Open For Inspections with two agents present. We find this reassures our sellers. It also reassures us as we know we are not placed in a position where we might find ourselves alone with questionable Open For Inspection attendees.

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