Protect your valuables during an open house

Would you be comfortable with letting total strangers wander through your home while you’re not there? Would you be okay with putting up a sign in the front yard or post on the Internet saying, “We won’t be home from 1–3 pm today, so head on over to our place and hang out for a while—oh, and while you’re there, feel free to look in our closets!”

Your answer would likely be a resounding “no”,  but fact of the matter is, does happen—just about every weekend. Now that your home is ready to sell, opening it to the public for showings poses a few risks. While the idea of theft shouldn’t be your main worry come open house day, you don’t want to tempt people either.

A traditional open house is a very popular tool for home sellers. And what buyer wouldn’t want to inspect a home closely before making the biggest purchase in their life? But it’s up to you, the owner, to protect your valuables when it comes time to schedule your open house.

The good news is a few simple steps can go a long way to protecting your privacy, security and belongings during an open house. The first step is to work with your salesperson to make sure they are doing everything to protect your place. Will they limit the number of people allowed into the home during each showing? Will they ask each visitor to show identification and complete a registration form? Will potential buyers be escorted during their visit to your home? Ask as many questions as needed to make sure you understand and are comfortable with what is planned and what you need to do to prepare. Other tips include:

  • Find a reputable agent and talk to her or him about how to safeguard your possessions.
  • Make sure your agent uses a sign-in sheet for everyone who comes into the house.
  • For multilevel homes, ask your agent to bring an assistant so all floors are covered at all times.
  • Remove valuables from view and store them in a safe, locked place.
  • Remove all prescription medicines and lock those up too.
  • Don’t forget about small electronics, such as laptops, iPads, smartphones, and other electronic devices that are easy to pick up and tuck in a pocket.
  • Make sure your desktop computers are locked with a passcode.
  • Bills, checques, bank statements, passports, and ID cards should be secured.
  • Don’t use any heirlooms or valuable possessions to stage your rooms.
  • If images of your home are posted via online real estate sites, don’t display valuables that will entice thieves.
  • After each open house, insist that the real estate agent lock all doors and windows, as you wouldn’t want anyone stopping by later after they have already been through the house.

Your real estate agent can offer you tips and advice on how to plan for an open house. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is also valuable resource for any home buyer and seller, offering a consumer newsletter and a bulletin dedicated to preparing for an open house.


At the Merenda Real Estate Group, client satisfaction is our number one priority. Sell your home with confidence, knowing that we have over 20 years’ industry knowledge and experience to make the sales experience a smooth and safe one. Contact us today with any questions or inquiries or call 416. 240. SOLD (7653).