Recently, several agents have experienced break-ins and theft occurring on vacant real estate listings. Here are some best practices gathered from your fellow REALTORS®:
1. Encourage sellers to install security cameras or a home alarm system if a property is vacant.
2. Do not use contractor lockboxes. Always use a Supra Lockbox.
3. Include the CAR Keysafe/Lockbox Addendum consent form every time you install a lockbox.
4. Encourage the seller to contact his/her insurance agent to ensure they have sufficient coverage, including both hazard insurance and liability and personal injury coverage.
5. Always check doors and windows multiple times to ensure they are locked and all entry points into the home are secure.
6. Close blinds and window coverings and leave lights on in the home if possible.
7. Think about signage carefully before installing it, as it calls out that the property may be vacant. Some agents have suggested signs that say "Do Not Disturb Occupant" even when the home is vacant as that may act as a deterrent.
8. Remind sellers to keep their home insurance with sufficient coverage for theft.
9. Check-in with neighbors and provide your business card to contact you in case they see anything out of the ordinary.