Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Open houses are a great way to show off a home, but they also can open you and your home to privacy concerns. Potential buyers will look through nearly every inch of your home, opening closets and storage areas, to get a sense of the space and where they might store their things.

Consider ways to protect your belongings — and your confidential information — with these ideas from

Go through your drawers and cabinets before others do. Potential buyers have reason to open and pull on them to determine how stable fixtures are, and it’s easy to glimpse personal letters and bills tucked innocuously away in drawers. Remove prescription medication from bathroom cabinets, too.

Your home should read like a clean slate, one that anyone could live in, so be sure to remove diplomas, wedding photos and other personal items from walls and tables. This protects your identity by keeping your name, college or church affiliation undisclosed, and gives buyers a blank canvas.

Shut down your computer. Professional hackers can gain a massive amount of personal information in a short period of time if left alone with a computer, so be proactive. If you still have an answering machine, consider turning it off so that buyers don’t hear personal messages or companies calling the home.

The idea of having strangers in your home is unsettling, so be sure your REALTOR® is always present and alert during open houses. Also consider talking to your agent about the benefits and drawbacks of you being there during the open house.­

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