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Open Home Slip Ups That Put Your Family At Risk


Proper home presentation helps to ensure the security of your home during the home selling process. As a seller, you need to be both street smart and home wise when inviting strangers into your home for sale.

During a professional staging consultation is a great time to discuss some of the safety issues that may arise while your home is on the market. It’s also a great time to get started packing those personal and private items that you won’t be needing for the next few months.

Professional Organiser and Home Stager, Shelley Giffin from Rooms For Miracles, agrees.

“You want potential buyers to notice what your home has to offer, not who lives there.”

As a Home Owner, Safety is Your First Concern

Recently, myself and my family stayed in a beachside homestay in another state. The home was owned by a family I had never met. Yet within a few moments of our arrival, I knew the full names, birth dates, times and places of birth, of the owners’ young children.

Numerous family photos showed me the faces of these beautiful babes.

Alarm bells!!!

Where Styling Meets Security At Home Family Photos should be removed.

Example of Family Photos that should be removed from view in your home for sale.


The owners were obviously lovely, trusting people, who would never have imagined anything negative happening as a result of sharing their home.  Having strangers in a family home for any period of time without securing the safety of the family first is, at best, unwise and, at worst dangerous.

It’s one thing to share your home, and another to share your lives. Sharing your home comes about for a variety of reasons. When selling, you can’t help but share your home. Sharing your lives through visible photos, names on doors, personal papers and possessions, etc. can leave your family vulnerable.

I don’t want that for you or your family.

As a home seller, you will have a lot of people passing through your home for sale. Make sure you don’t have them passing through the lives of your family.


Girl's bedroom has personality and privacy.

Girl’s bedroom where personality and personal safety are good bedfellows.


Boy's bedroom

Boy’s bedroom with personal items safely hidden from view.

There are some simple ways to ensure your personal safety and your family’s security during open homes, as well as the safety and security of visitors to the home.

I have been in open homes where security was not tight. Some not so pretty examples include:

  • Expensive jewellery on display,
  • Personal papers in plain view,
  • An owner’s marital status, gender and personal struggles openly discussed,
  • Kids names on walls or doors,
  • Family photos.

You get the picture.

How To Prepare Your Home For Viewing

If you have decided to put your home on the market, ideally give yourself time to prepare properly. Start with one room at a time otherwise there’s a good chance you will become overwhelmed.

Shelley, from Rooms for Miracles, offers her top three tips for pre-packing for sale:

  • Depersonalise- Memorabilia, photos, certificates etc should be packed away from view of your potential buyer. It’s a really important step for ensuring your own privacy.
  • Organise- Remove unnecessary items from all flat surfaces (kitchen/bathroom bench tops/tables) organise and pre pack items in all your cupboards/wardrobes/kitchen drawers. People tend to look in storage areas so you want to allow them to see there’s plenty available by taking out anything of a personal nature when it comes to selling.
  • Remove- Removing excess furniture will give your home a clear pathway through the house while making the rooms appear larger. You want the buyer to form an attachment by imagining their own belongings in the property. Arrange or hire storage off site if possible.

If you have decided to put your home on the market, ideally give yourself time to prepare properly. Start with one room at a time otherwise there’s a good chance you will become overwhelmed.


Security Checks

When your home is on the market prospective buyers will wander through and look around at leisure. Make sure your agent has a method for accurately recording who enters your home. Ensure that your insurance will cover open home viewings while you are on the market.

Again, remove valuables before showing your home to prospective buyers. These include jewellery, phones, photos, certificates, wallets, spare keys and personal documents. These can be placed in a plastic container in the boot of your car, which you should be driving away before the potential buyers arrive! Never stay in your home during a viewing, it makes buyers feel uncomfortable and they cannot relax and imagine themselves living in your home.

Finally, walk through your home once the open is over to check that:

  • all windows and doors are locked,
  • no one is still in the house, and
  • all of your possessions are intact.

Be kind to yourself and make selling your home less stressful. Be security conscious and trouble shoot before placing your home on the real estate market. Planning and preparation beforehand, will make the transition to your new home safer, simpler and more straight forward.

For more safety tips, whether selling, buying or building, check out https://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/SmartHousingSafetySecurityBooklet.pdf

Our thanks to:

Rooms For Miracles

Supplied by Owner
Caco Photography



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