We will soon be putting our house on the market and both Realtors we have met with all suggest leaving our home when a showing is scheduled. We have concerns about being gone during showings, we are not wealthy, however, we do have certain valuables, mostly artwork and a few artifacts, that are quite valuable. To strip our home of this collection for every showing would be impractical, but not impossible. We can properly secure items such as jewelry and guns, however the other "valuables" are another matter and quite concerning. What advice do you give your sellers or would give us? We have been thinking that if we were home during the showing, we would be able to watch the prospective buyers much more carefully than the Realtor, who is primarily interested in pointing out the best features of the home.
Martha, Grand Junction
First things first, make sure you leave for the showings. Do not be home, hovering over potential buyers while their realtor tries their best to get them to fall in love with your home. Buyers typically do not fall into “buy” mode while the seller is present, generally they will be feeling pressured to leave and regardless of how hospitable you are, they will feel like they are putting you out and typically will spend less time there.
Showing rule No. 1, leave while the home is being shown and give the buyer the chance to become emotionally attached to your home! Ok, we have that out of the way, lets talk about your valuables.
I understand being concerned about your valuables. We always recommend that you remove, or safely put away, any and all jewelry and have all guns and ammunition secured in a safe location or are broken down properly. As for your artwork and artifacts, you are correct, stripping your home prior to every showing and then putting them back would be, potentially, a large and burdensome task. I am inferring, from your question, as though moving these items out for the duration of marketing time, might not be your first choice. It sounds like you would like to have them there while your home is shown, but are concerned about damage or theft.
I would suggest removing them for the entire time you have your home on the market. Find a storage space, purchase a safe or find a place you are comfortable moving your valuables to and move them out prior to putting you home on the market. Don’t try to do it prior to every showing, just do it once and then it will be done and your concerns will be over. Easy, control what you can control and let the rest go. If you are concerned, remove, and consider it done.
Should you decide to leave them in place and NOT have to be present for every showing, I can honestly say that in over 18 years, I have only had one home that has “allegedly” had something go missing and that was an antique sewing machine! What? Yes, a seller once claimed that one of the prospective buyers had stolen an antique sewing machine. I still have a very hard time buying into the fact that a buyer and their Realtor conspired to haul off the sewing machine, which by the way weighed about as much as my riding lawn mower. This story could go on and on, but I am sure you get where I am going. This is not to say it can not happen, but to say my experience tells me that it virtually never does.
Easy answer, remove items prior to list and remove an area of stress from a situation that is inherently stressful. Remember, control what you can control and let the rest go! This is a life lesson that I seem to have to learn over and over, but every time I relearn it, it feels like I am learning it for the first time and I get to enjoy it again. Funny how that happens. Best of luck.
The Kimbrough Team