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The Most Important Items to Secure During an Open House

by James F. McClister

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Some people steal things from open houses. As the name implies, they’re an easy target. To help mitigate the risk that something will be taken from your client’s home, make sure to hide these commonly stolen items:

Cash

Don’t make it easy. Clients should not only keep loose cash out of plain sight, but also safely store it where an uninhibited rummager might not stumble across it.

Jewelry

Leaving jewelry out is like leaving pretty money out. When a “potential buyer” is checking out the master bedroom, one exposed jewelry box might hold significant loot. Showing off wearable luxuries is unlikely to help you get an offer, but it will excite a thief.

Portable Electronics

A thief at an open house is going to be looking to maximize their profit while minimizing their risk, which means taking smaller, more valuable items. Portable electronics – mp3 players, tablets, laptops – are preferred targets because not only are they built to be carried on your person, but also they’re easy to sell.

Clothes

If you notice a potential buyer wearing a coat eerily similar to your client’s, don’t be surprised if it’s stolen. Clothes are lightweight, easily hidden and valuable.

Prescription Medicine

According to a 2014 report from the Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center, 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Going to the bathroom is a built-in excuse to be alone, and prescription drugs are regularly abused or can be sold.

Your Client’s Identity

An identity is a valuable prize, and the savvier open house burglars will be looking for credit card and bank statements, bills and any piece of personal information that might help them nab one. A seller won’t often think to lock away a few pieces of mail on the kitchen table, so it’s imperative that agents handle those seemingly inconsequential details.

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