Expert Tips To Minimize Theft When Selling Your Home

During the initial meeting with homeowners when I’m taking a listing, I’ll always discuss precautionary measures to keep showings and open houses incident-free.

Once your home is listed, you can expect requests to show the home (hopefully MANY) and one or more open houses to be scheduled. Realtors(r) are responsible for their customers actions when they’re showing a home and listing agents are held responsible as well, for supervising any activity during an open house…and I’d say 98% of us do an excellent job. However, the slim possibility exists where the “buyer” may not have the best intentions when visiting an open house or asking to see a home through another agent.

And it’s for that reason I urge my clients to:

1. Never leave credit cards/debit cards/gift cards or credit card bills laying out in the open;
2. Never leave valuables or cash in plain view;
3. Move your prescription medications to a safe place (other than a medicine cabinet).

Now, if you’ve taken my staging advice, all of the above would be a moot point! 🙂

However, after the agents in my office received an email from our managing broker, Cynthia Grebenstein, about unfortunate incidents occurring during open house activity on the West Coast, I feel compelled to throw out this alert. Below is an article published in the Daily Real Estate News in San Diego.

Prescription Drug Addicts Target Open Houses

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Prescription drug abusers reportedly are posing as home buyers and using open houses to raid medicine cabinets and night stands in search of drugs.

A group of real estate agents, organizations, and businesses have teamed up to form the Safe Homes Coalition to raise awareness. The group’s initial focus is in San Diego County, but it hopes the message will spread across the country.

The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® has joined law enforcement and drug rehabilitation experts in the coalition to launch a public service ad on local TV and radio stations to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse. The goal is to warn others about prescription drug thefts that are occurring at open houses and to urge home owners to secure and dispose of their prescription drugs properly.

The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® will provide its real estate members with plastic bags to urge their clients to collect prescription drugs prior to an open house.

Watch the coalition’s public service announcement below or at YouTube.

Always to be better safe than sorry! Again, the greater population of Realtors(r) are always alert when showing a home, but unfortunately, where there’s a/an (unsavory) will, there may exist a way!

“Antoinette” Scognamiglio (licensed as Maria), Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Route 46W & Crane Road, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046. Cell Phone: 201.240.8699. Email:

Are you considering purchasing or selling a home in Morris, Sussex, Passaic or Northern Bergen County? I specialize in those territories, with expertise in Lakefront property. As a relocation specialist, I take exceptional care in assisting my clients in finding their new home and community. Certified as an Accredited Staging Professional, I work with my home seller clients to ensure their home offers the highest level of appeal to buyers (and Realtors®!). Please visit my website to learn more about my philosophy in conducting real estate business. I believe “The title of REALTOR® should be held with great care or not held at all.” Put your real estate transaction in careful hands.
(C) Antoinette Scognamiglio, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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