Monday, June 16, 2008

Protect Your Privacy When Selling Your Home

Not too long ago, one of our home sellers told us of a frightening experience he had when his home was under a listing agreement with a local agent. As a result of the incident, he canceled the agent's contract and took matters into his own hands. Here's what happened:

Early one day, our home seller left for work, not thinking twice about the lock box hanging on his front door. Later that day morning he received a frantic phone call from his teenage daughter. She was calling from the upstairs bathroom on her cell phone after hearing voices and movement downstairs. Fearing an intruder, her father immediately called the police on his other line and left the office to return home. As he turned into his driveway, the police were already on the scene and were talking to two strangers. Only after speaking with the officer did he learn that the "intruders" were really a real estate agent and his embarrassed client, both now visibly upset having caused such a ruckus. What the seller had not realized when he left in the morning, was that his daughter had a delayed start for school and had not left before him, as was normally the case. She was in the bathtub when the intruders" entered their home.

Thank goodness that the ending was uneventful, but it does point to the need to take privacy issues seriously when selling your home. With a lock box on your door, ANY agent can access your home at ANY time with ANY client. Remember your lock is on the outside of your home. You won't know when you leave in the morning if people are coming or who was there when you return later. You won't know if you left something valuable on your dresser. You just won't know.

When you sell privately, it's just that -- private. You determine who you will show your house to and when.