Keeping the 'Lock' on Privacy

Are your Open Houses turning your Clients into an Open Book?

         Along with staging it is also important to de-personalize the property to protect the Sellers’ identity and to educate the Sellers on how to safeguard their personal affairs. With summertime travel on the rise, it is even more important to protect those clients who choose to be away from home while their property is on the market.  Here are half a dozen tips and strategies to pass along to your clients even before the “FOR SALE” sign goes up.

1. Remove all personal photos, diplomas, personal letters and greeting cards from view. Store those trophies and achievement awards out of sight. These items can be age and occupation tell-alls and set up unwanted bias or expectation among Buyers toward your Sellers.

2. Put away all day timers, calendars and To Do lists. These are often information rich about your clients’ activities, often detailing when they plan to be away from home.

3. Keep desks and tables clear of all bills, magazines and books and shred all personal documents that are no longer needed.

4. Turn off any printers, fax machines, answering machines and phones to prevent incoming messages from arriving during showings.

5. Have your clients password protect their computers to avoid access to personal information.

6. Keep all valuables stored away securely – this includes those prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet – Yes, the NUMBER ONE item stolen at Open Houses is prescription drugs, and they’re a clear giveaway as to the health of your clients.

          Information gleaned by curious Buyers from any of the above sources can put your clients at a distinct disadvantage around the negotiation table.