How to Protect Your Privacy at Open Inspections

How to Protect Your Privacy at Open Inspections

Few homes are sold without the prospective buyer taking a tour of the property in person. An open inspection is a tried-and-true process of real estate, however, it does mean letting numerous strangers through your home. It is not unreasonable to expect that potential buyers will likely be opening cupboards and wardrobes to look at the available space.

This can seem a little unnerving for vendors, especially if you are a private person.

Open inspections are something that happens every day and every weekend, mostly without any incident.

But if you are feeling a little worried, here are some tips to protect your privacy and safety when you open your doors to the public. If you are still unsure, always speak with your agent who can put other steps in place to make you feel more comfortable.

Don't be reckless with that necklace

It is a sensible idea to lock away any valuables that could be easily picked up during an inspection. It includes any jewellery, money or credit card that you may leave out in the open. The same goes for trinkets, treasures, photographs, framed degrees and medications.

The upside is that putting these things out of sight will make your home look tidier. It is also the first step towards emotionally detaching yourself from the space and preparing for the move ahead.

Decluttering allows buyers to walk through the property and imagine living at the property, rather than stickybeaking into your life. Vendors are generally liable for any losses incurred during an inspection, which could be a good motivator to start filling up moving boxes with personal items first.

Always take the spare keys and remote controls with you when you leave the house during the inspection. Don’t leave any paperwork visible that may give potential buyers personal information about you.  

Keep a directory

Organise with your real estate agent to take down the details of people who view your home. This doesn't just give you a strong database of your potential buyers, but also adds an extra layer of security should anything happen to your home. Asking for an actual ID is another level of protection.

Ensure and Insure

By keeping that insurance policy airtight, you'll protect yourself against damages and losses incurred at an open inspection. There can be energetic children, and people will be unfamiliar with their surroundings - accidents can happen, so be prepared. Check with your insurer that your policy covers open inspections.

State the date

In the time leading up to the inspection, make sure any signage and advertising clearly state the time and date of the inspection. While healthily interested buyers are an excellent indicator of a sale, you don't want people dropping by at just any time or snooping around the yard when you're out - unless they are accompanied by your agent. It is not uncommon for your agent to bring back interested parties for a second or sometimes third look before they submit an offer.

Private inspections

Your agent can also carry out private inspections. This way they can discreetly ‘qualify’ potential buyers by asking a series of questions about their intentions, budget and motivation to purchase such as if they are looking for a home or investment. They may also check if their finance has already been approved. Serious buyers are often happy to answer such questions.

Open inspection

While you may feel nervous about opening your home to the public, it is a good way to ascertain the level of interest in a property and potential competition. House hunters consider it a convenient and easy way to take a look at a property. It also widens your reach by attracting passersby or locals who may step inside, fall in love and end up making an offer.

Open homes generally last 30 minutes, so it is a relatively short period to have people coming through your property.

Importantly, it allows buyers to see that other parties are interested and may encourage them to take action sooner and be more proactive with negotiations.


DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.

More interesting resources you might like...