10 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know about Home Security


Tis the Season to Worry about Home Security

As autumn draws near many people begin planning for the holidays. The time between Halloween and New Year’s is one of the busiest of the year as people travel and are “on the go”. For homeowners, this is often a time when they are away from home for extended periods, leaving their home vulnerable. The good news is there are several things homeowners can do to protect their property. These 10 tips are applicable to homeowners living in the home, as well as those managing a vacant property.

1. Check In. One of the most important ways to protect an empty property is having someone you trust check in on the property daily. Choose a neighbor, friend, or relative who can easily access the property and get in contact with you.

2. Mail. One of the biggest indicators that a home is empty is accumulated mail or packages in the box or on the doorstep. Alleviate this concern by setting up a mail hold, or arranging for a neighbor or friend to collect mail every day.

3. Snow. If you live in an area that is prone to snow, it is helpful to schedule snow removal from the driveway and walkways. Not only does this give the illusion that someone is home, but also keeps the path clear for emergency crews if needed.

4. Security. Before leaving, make sure that all windows and doors are locked, and that a security system, if applicable, is set. Also check with the local police department or sheriff’s office to see if they offer a check in service for vacationers.

5. Timers. Most hardware stores sell timers than can easily be attached to lamps and light switches. Set a few timers throughout the home to give the illusion that someone is inside moving around. Timers for radios and televisions can also provide light and noise.

6. Valuables. It is commonly known that robbers first go to the master bedroom and look in the likely places to find valuables, such as under the mattress, in the sock drawer, or in boxes. Placing valuables in a safety deposit box or gun safe is the best way to prevent theft, but it is not always practical. If not, be creative about where valuables are hidden.

7. Temperature. Set the thermostat in the home to a comfortable temperature that is warm enough to prevent freezing or damage, but is cool enough to account for warmer temperatures and sunlight.

8. Electronics and Appliances.  Unplug all non-essential appliances and electronics in the home. Turn the hot water heater to a neutral setting to avoid heating unused water, and turn off the main water valve before extended trips.

9. Garbage. Make sure all garbage is outside of the home before leaving on a trip. Also know what the pickup schedule is and arrange for someone to move the can out and bring it back after pickup.

10. Perhaps the most important tip for holiday home safety is having the right insurance. Make sure all policies are up to date.

What Our Clients Say

“My vacant property listing sat for about 3 weeks on the market and after posting the virtual photos by Virtually Staging Properties, I saw a 50% increase in buyer traffic and we got an offer just 1 day later.  The buyer’s agent thought virtual staging was a great idea and was going to consider using it for their vacant listings.”

TARIQ THOMAS, Agent | Thomas Holding Group – Pennsylvania

“After posting the virtually staged photos I saw an increase in showings and we got my vacant listing under contract in less than 14 days! “

PAUL HERRICK, Realtor | Keller Williams Realty – Massachusetts

“We list all our vacant properties with virtually staged photos by VSP and we always get a contract within the first 2 -4 weeks after posting the listing along with the photos online.  Other agents comment on our virtual photos and we have referred numerous agents to you all because of the success we have had with your company! “

CYNDI OHRT, Realtor | Keller Williams Realty – Virginia

“The unfurnished townhome we had listed had been on the market for 4 months until we decided to engage in virtual staging.  I had the townhome professionally photographed and then had the photos virtually staged and they were so realistic.  We had a binding contract within 2 weeks after posting the virtual photos!”

ERIC BROOKS, Realtor | Wydler Brooks Real Estate – Virginia

“We received 2 offers in less than a week and a half.  The property was listed with vacant photos for over 220 days on the market with no offers.  Many buyers passed on the house but after posting the virtual photos, they changed their minds and we definitely saw an increase in buyer traffic!”

TRISH BRADLEY, Agent | Rutledge Properties – Massachusettes