Don’t open your doors to the public for showings until you take these extra precautions!
If you’re selling your Santa Barbara home and planning an open house in the near future, or if your house will be vacant during its sale, I offer 10 tips for preventing burglary. A burglary is committed every 20 seconds in this country, with nearly 1.6 million such crimes nationwide every year, according to the FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report. Don’t become a victim yourself. Follow these anti-burglary tips:
- Maintain your property. Thieves may think an unkempt home is abandoned and, therefore, it becomes an easy target.
- Know your neighbors. Invite your neighbors over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly during the listing, including your real estate agent.
- Assess your home’s vulnerability. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind. Look for broken locks, easy access and other ways your home may be vulnerable.
- The power of lighting.A well lit home is a great deterrent. Think about it. Thieves don’t want to be seen.
- Use technology to make your home look occupied.In addition to lighting, smart-home technology can easily make it appear that people are home, even when they’re not.
- Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors.In 30% of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34% of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22% use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
- Reinforce your locks with a sold doorframe. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate as well as top of the line locks.
- Blare the sirens.Loud noises will deter burglars, so install an external siren. (Or rescue a dog from your local shelter).
- Consider surveillance cameras.The Los Angeles Police Department started a program last year encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what’s outside their door on their smartphone. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, the burglary rate dropped by 55%.
- Mark your valuables and record details.Prevent burglars from pawing or selling your stuff by marking identifying information such as your driver’s license or state ID numbers on valuable items. Also, log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings.
For more information on these 10 tips for preventing burglary during an open house, check out this article in Realtor Magazine. If you’re thinking of selling your home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of open houses.