Real Estate Answers: Protect your property and you

Patrick McCarran column logo 2015By Patrick McCarran, Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie

When your home is for sale, whether you are the owner or the tenant,  it is equally important that you be aware of security and take precautions to keep you and your valuables safe while your property is marketed for lease or for sale. While the property is on the market a variety of people including potential buyers, other Realtors, inspectors, and others will have access to your property. In anticipation you should take steps to make sure that your property is safe for such visits.

What are the threats that you should be aware of? The obvious threats are of course tangible items or personal property such as jewelry, decorative items and of course cash. It is recommended that jewelry, cash, important documents like “pink slips” and other valuables be placed in a safe deposit box while the property is being marketed for lease or sale. If you choose to keep any of your valuables in our property, we recommend that they be kept under lock and key so that no one but you has access to them. We often leave our wallets and loose cash on the dresser or in the closet but during the time the house is on the market it is a good idea to keep those things out of site and in a drawer. Prescription medications are another item that is targeted. Don’t keep those in medicine cabinet. To that end you should take precautions to protect your property so that it will not be damaged, lost, or stolen.

On a side note, most insurance policies a have a limit on the amount of cash that is covered usually around two thousands dollars. It is also important that if you have any rare or out of the ordinary items, such as an autograph picture of Elvis, you obtain a rider to insure full value. It is recommended that you consult your insurance company to be sure that your insurance coverage is adequate during the listing and escrow period for any losses which may occur including, but not limited to, personal injury, property damage and theft. Your policy may not provide the proper coverage if the property is vacant.

Perhaps the most valuable items is your family and you. It is common for potential buyers or renters to open windows and doors to check views and access. These doors and windows are not always re-locked and if they are seldom used by you then it may be overlooked so get in the habit of doing a security check as soon as you get home or before you go to bed.

Your Realtor will do everything possible to make the lease or sale of your property as convenient and safe as possible for you; however they don’t live in the house and cannot be responsible for your property or your insurance coverage. Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your stuff, yourself and your family. As always if you have any questions feel free to give me a call or email for information. 

Patrick McCarran can be reached at (925) 899-5536, or Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is an independently owned and operated franchise of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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