Whether you have bought a new home and moved out of the old one before selling the real estate, or you are simply traveling and leaving you home uninhabited for a length of time, you probably have a few concerns on your mind. You’ll want to clean out any food that might spoil and adjust the thermostat to keep the utilities down. If it’s cold, then you might want to turn off the water and drain the lines to keep pipes from bursting. But another major concern you should be thinking about is security.
Any home that doesn’t have anyone living in it is in danger of being vandalized or burglarized. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true that some people will see an empty home as an opportunity to get everything they can out of it, whether that be appliances, furniture, or even metal and wires for scrap. You can prevent this unfortunate circumstance when you are selling real estate by putting in some well-placed security measures and taking steps to throw the criminals off the scent.
Keeping the outside tidy and safe is helpful to protecting a home
One of the first things burglars and vandals look for is a home that appears unkempt on the outside, as though it has gone unattended in the absence of an owner or tenant. By keeping up the landscape and overall appearance of the outdoors, along with putting in some external security measures, you can ensure that you’ve done everything possible to keep disaster at bay when selling real estate.
Motion sensor outdoor lighting – A house that is well lit on the outside is a great deterrent to criminals because it’s harder to hide and sneak around with the whole property lit up. Motion sensors can make sure the lights are turned on if anyone or anything is moving about the house at night.
Prune the trees and shrubs – Vegetation around the property can be a very attractive prospect and drive the curb appeal sky high. But trees and shrubs that are too large or unkempt provide the perfect hiding places. Keeping the plant life in check can keep the burglars at bay.
Strategically position the blinds – The blinds are a barrier between nosy eyes and the interior of the home, so it’s important to position them so that they protect the privacy of the home. If they are down all the time it can be an indication of an empty home, but if they are wide open then everyone can clearly see that a house is empty, along with everything it contains. Keep the blinds partially open and combine them with another layer, such as sheer curtains to block prying eyes.
Mow the lawn – An overgrown lawn is another indicator that the home is unoccupied. By mowing it regularly or hiring someone to do so you can protect the home with a more lived-in appearance.
Leave a car in the driveway – a driveway that is always empty is also a sign of an empty house. A great way to give an inhabited impression is to leave a locked car parked in the driveway. If you don’t have a vehicle that can sit unattended in your absence, you can befriend a neighbor and see if they would mind parking a vehicle in your driveway until you return or the house sells.
The inside of your house can be optimized for security too
Now that the outside of your home is ready for a long absence, you can arrange the inside for increased safety as well. Though there won’t be anyone living in the home when you are selling real estate, it’s possible to give the appearance that someone is living there, or at least checking in regularly. Additionally, there are excellent security systems that can be installed to deter burglars and alert the police in the event of a break in. By preparing the inside along with the outside you can have a comprehensive plan to protect the property.
Indoor lights on timers – a home that is always dark on the inside when the sun starts going down is another obvious sign of emptiness. Fortunately, it’s easy to install timers on your indoor lighting so that the lights are on periodically, giving the impression of inhabitants and great for protecting a home. Make sure there are lights in more than just one room.
Reinforce the entry points – a home with weak entryways may be too tempting to pass up. You can remedy this by reinforcing them all with strong materials. Solid wood doors or wood core doors with metal wrapping, deadbolts, and strong window locks.
Lock up every time – you might be surprised how often a home is broken into simply because the owner forgot to lock up before they left. It’s especially common in homes that are unattended because the owner doesn’t come back often enough to realize that the house wasn’t secured.
Install a security system – security systems that alert the police directly in the event of intruders are not only smart, but can be a powerful deterrent if you advertise them. You can put signs in the yard or stickers on the window to indicate that the home has protection.
Look in often – If people are always going in and out of a home then it won’t matter if it is unoccupied because there will be eyes on it quite often. If you can check into the home as often as you can you will work both as a deterrent and as an early warning if theft or vandalism has occurred. You can also hire someone to look in on the house or charge a friend with the task if need be.
Sometimes it just can’t be helped and a home must be left unattended for a period of time. Even so, with all of these excellent measures in place there is no reason that it shouldn’t stay safe and secure until a successful sale or triumphant return from traveling. Just remember to lock up every time you leave and keep the property looking well cared for and the home should remain unharmed.