Safety tips for show days

2019-07-17 06:01

OPEN house or “show days” have been proven to be a valuable way of introducing your home to prospective buys. But, unfortunately, this also means that you could be unknowingly opening your doors to potential burglars looking to take advantage of the situation.

There is safety in numbers, Charnel Hattingh (National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT) explains: “A good place to start is to have someone on duty with you to manage events on show day. It gives you the ease of knowing that no visitors or prospective buyers are wandering through the home unmonitored, and that there is someone who can assist you if something goes wrong.”

Hattingh says estate agents need to be security conscious and need to discuss the option of putting security systems in place before a show day. This, she adds, is not only to protect the sellers’ valuables and property, but to ensure the agents are safe as well.

“We advise sellers to lock all their valuables away and to ensure that the agent understands your concerns regarding the safety and the security of your property on the day. Posting a guard on the premises and giving the agent access to a panic button is also a good idea.”

While you cannot plan for every eventuality, Hattingh says the following pointers will help to discourage thieves from taking advantage of the situation.

PREPARING FOR SHOW DAY:

- If someone stands in for your agent on show day, insist on meeting them to explain arrangements for your home.

- If there is a panic button, ensure that the agent has access to it, along with your private security provider’s emergency number.

- Alert your private security service provider that your home will be on show. Ask them to stop by in the afternoon to check everything is in order.

- Do not leave spare keys for the home hanging on hooks that can be reached.

- Always lock away valuables that can easily fit into a handbag or pocket.

- Put away larger items of equipment that are not instrumental in showing off your home to stop criminals thinking they might have to return later.

- Open curtains and blinds or switch on lights in rooms to discourage would-be thieves from untoward activity.

PRECAUTIONS FOR AGENTS OR OWNERS­ SUPERVISING SHOW DAY:

- If possible, position yourself where you can see prospective buyers’ vehicles as they arrive and make a note of their registration numbers, the make and model of the car.

- Don’t be shy to ask your visitors to stay with you while you walk through the home together. This will ensure that no one is left unsupervised.

- While you are conducting a viewing, do not leave the front entrance of the home open. It is important to check that intercoms, buzzers and doorbells are in good working order.

- Consider a show day where you encourage “by appointment” viewings.

- If visitors do arrive while you are talking to someone, encourage them to fill in the visitor’s book or take a look at the garden and outdoor facilities to buy some time.

- Ask your security company if they offer a special mobile panic button service which you can keep with you when on duty at a show house. — Supplied.

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