Secure Your Home During an Open House

Many real estate agents encourage the use of open houses as a way for more people to view a home on the market without the sales pressure. Prospective buyers who are just casually looking may attend an open house, fall in love with the home, and turn into serious buyers. The more people who see the home, the more likely the right buyer will be found; and a home that is well attended during an open house could also spark some competition among prospective buyers or lead to multiple offers. Open houses are a tried and true real estate marketing strategy, so if you are selling a home, or planning to sell, the topic will likely come up as you and your agent plan your listing.

Apart from staging, improving curb appeal, and other preparations for an open house, you should also consider the best ways to secure your property and protect your home while strangers are walking through it. Most people who attend open houses are honest, hard-working families who would never dream of taking something of value. But it doesn’t hurt at all to take some precautions, just in case your open house is attended by someone with less than honorable motives.

First, know that an agent is going to be in your home at all times, and will be watching guests and getting their contact information. An attentive and  observant agent can go a long way to deterring potential thieves. However, your agent can’t be everywhere at once. So, move any truly valuable personal belongings out of the home or into a locked safe before your open house. Things like jewelry, autographed memorabilia, coin collections, and the like should be secured during an open house. It’s not good enough to hide it items in sock drawers. People can and do open cabinets and drawers while touring a home. Put it in a safe deposit box or in a built-in safe in your home, or store items at a trusted friends’ home until you move. You should also take any prescription medications with you. Clean out your medicine cabinet of any medications, injection devices used by diabetes patients, etc.

If you have concerns that cannot be alleviated by removing valuables and medications prior to the open house, then consider strategically-placed security cameras. Security cameras have become more affordable, especially small wireless devices like nanny-cams. You may even be able to rent security cameras, so check around locally. This may be the best option if you don’t want to invest in purchasing the technology for long-term use. Potential thieves are often deterred by the possibility of being caught on camera, and the footage can serve as evidence for law enforcement if something does disappear. If the use of security cameras gives you peace of mind and helps relieve the stress of an open house, then by all means use them.

You may feel that the best way to protect your home and your belongings is to attend the open house yourself. Many agents advise against this, because it may turn off prospective buyers. If you really want to attend, then talk to your agent about your concerns. Your agent’s job is to put you at ease with the selling process, and they can go through all the pros and cons with you, walk through the open house process, and all the safety and security measures they will personally take to secure your home. You can even ask your Realtor® to walk through your home with you, and help you identify items and areas of risk, so that you have a professional perspective on where to concentrate your efforts to secure your belongings.  

This article at RealtyTimes gives you more tips and advice for securing your home during an open house. It also includes information on child safety, insurance coverage, and other topics.

My team is very experienced in hosting open houses in the luxury market, so we are singularly focused on protecting our clients’ valuable assets. Let my team at Keystone Realtors® meet all your real estate needs. Paul Phangureh has over 16 years of experience in buying and selling in the Santa Clara and San Mateo County areas, specializing in the high-end, luxury market, as well as commercial and multi-use real estate. Visit our website at for listings and information. You can contact Paul at 650-924-2544, or email at

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