5 Minute Tips: Prep Your Home for Viewing


You have potential buyers coming but you’re already running late for work. What can you do in 5 minutes that will have the most impact?


1. Tidy the foyer / front entrance.

The front entrance is the first impression of your home. Put away your family’s shoes, hats, jackets, mail, etc.


2. Turn on lights and open the curtains.

Brighter homes look larger and more welcoming. Your real estate agent would be happy to turn off the lights and close the curtains after the prospective buyers have left, if you ask them.


3. Give the powder rooms a once-over.

Put the toilet lids down, wipe any hair and toothpaste spills from the sink, and put away toiletries.


4. Remove personal items.

Quickly go through your home and remove personal items such as family photos, bills and jewellery. This will help potential buyers picture themselves making the home their own.


5. Shake off your welcome mat.

Make sure your welcome mat is clean, free of leaves, bugs or other outdoor distractions that have a habit of accumulating.

This quick and easy task list will help you present your home to buyers in the best light, and it will ensure your mind doesn’t wander back to your house throughout the day with worries that you did not leave your home as clean as you could have.


Most people feel confident about the basics of home security. For example: Keep all doors locked. Have a light on in the house while away. Never hide a key outside in an obvious place, like under the mat.

  • Yet, almost a million and a half properties get burglarized in North America each year. So how can you prevent that from happening to your home? Here are a few less known home security basics:
  • Actually, never hide a key outside. Thieves know all the hiding places. Instead, make sure all family members have a key.
  • Two-thirds of home burglaries occur during the day. So be extra vigilant about making sure doors and windows are locked while you're away during the day.
  • Surprisingly, most thieves are not daring. They are 2.7 times more likely to target a home without an alarm system.
  • Thieves will attempt to force entry through sliding-style doors and windows first. So make sure these have a locking bar or extra bolt lock.
  • Surprising, 40% of household burglaries do not involve forced entry. The thief is able to slip in through an unlocked window or door.
  • Don't show off possessions! An imported racing bike parked next to the garage, or expensive audio equipment clearly seen through a window, is an invitation to burglars.
  • Take a look at the lighting and landscaping around your property. Are there spots where a thief could easily hide? If so, make some changes.
  • When planning a trip, have a trusted neighbour pick up newspapers, flyers and anything else that may accumulate at your door.

Your local police department may have more tips and special programs for keeping your home secure. Give them a call.

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Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms


When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.

 

One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.

 

Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery, like a cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.

 

Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.

 

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.

 

Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.

 

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.

 


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