When you list your home for sale, you will have people you don't know exploring the property -- and while real estate agents will supervise them, you will still have extra foot traffic in your home. You can work with your listing agent to ensure that visiting buyers are properly vetted (new listings often attract curious visitors that are not interested in buying, just touring the home). You can also take steps to protect your property during open houses and showings. A security system isn't beneficial -- because the people admitted to your home for a showing have permission to be there. Here's what to do before you list your home to protect your possessions from theft or harm. Most people are well-intentioned and the vast majority of showings are trouble-free but preparing to show your home can give you peace of mind and preserve your privacy and possessions, too.
Replace originals: If you have original works of art as focal points in some rooms, you may want to replace them with prints, reproductions or lesser works while your home is on the market. Consider having artwork professionally packed by an art historian or specialty mover before your home goes on the market and you won't have to worry about it being in an empty home. Note that even well-intentioned visitors could damage original art simply by touching it, so evaluate which pieces should stay on display when you show your home.
Remove small electronics: Your wall mounted flat screen is safe during showings since it is simply too awkward to remove and tote away, but smaller pieces could be at risk. Small electronics like phones, tablets and games should be removed or secured before a showing. These items may also contain your personal information and secure data, so putting them away can protect your privacy, too.
Secure or remove personal items: Jewelry and other small items should be removed from the home or placed in a safe or other secure location. Even if you don't have a conventional jewelry box or valet on display, consider removing especially valuable or sentimental items while your home is on on the market.
Most visitors are honest, authentic buyers. However, if you have concerns about theft or damage, sweep your home before you list it and secure or replace any important items.