YOUR PRIVACY AND SECURITY WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME
For many individuals, it is very important for them to protect their privacy, while others are simply concerned that buyers will make assumptions about them and judge them instead of simply judging their home. However, the importance of protecting your privacy is all the same and that goes for anything personal from financial information, such as cheque books to bank statements and personal letters.
Protect your documents
Keep in mind that a potential buyer may open cabinets or drawers-this is not considered snooping. Buyers can innocently tug on a drawer to inspect its construction or depth and find important documents that you might not intend for anyone to see.
Don't leave mail where anybody can find it
Many sellers make the mistake of leaving piles of opened mail neatly stacked on the kitchen counter or somewhere else in the home. By leaving your correspondence out on the table, a potential buyer can find out about your credit card debt, whether you have filed for bankruptcy and other private information that you probably don't want the seller to be aware of. Not only is this an invasion of your privacy, it can also change the offers that you receive from buyers. If you have a stack of mail from a collection agency, the buyer will know you are desperate to make a sale and will likely propose far under the list price.
Remove personal effects from your walls
From diplomas and religious artifacts to wedding certificates and personal photos, don't provide buyers with any personal information about yourself or your family. De-personalizing is also an important move to make when staging your home for sale anyway, so you can actually accomplish two things by removing the personal effects from your home.
Don't leave your computer up and running during showings
Gaining personal information from your computer takes only minutes for a professional hacker or thief, so be proactive and turn your computer off before potential buyers arrive.
Before you put your home on the market, empty out drawers, stage closets and pack up anything personal including medications.
Disassociate yourself with your home-remind yourself that it is a house-a product to be sold on an open market that is bound to see plenty of new faces throughout the term of the selling process.
Consider renting a safety deposit box at your local bank and store away your jewellery and other valuable items. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Michelle Makos, RE/MAX First Realty Ltd.