Itâ€™s that time of year again! Â As if the holiday music in every store and on every street corner didnâ€™t already clue you in, right?
This is the time of year for family get togethers, holiday socials, and all seem to have more of a giving, caring, sharing attitude. Â BE CAREFULâ€¦the holidays are NOT a time to let your guard down. Â Unfortunately, this is the time of year where the bad guys are out on the prowl taking advantage of the generosity of others especially those that have their homes listed for sale throughout the holiday season.
If you are one of those that has a home listed this time of year, here are 5 tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe during this season.
1. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let anyone in to view your home that simply knocks at the door and asks to view it. Â You should only be letting licensed Realtors (and their prospective buyers) into your home to view. Â A licensed Realtor will have the proper key to open the electronic lock box that your listing agent has left at your property with the key inside. Â If the â€œknockerâ€ cannot open the lock box then DO NOT grant them access. Â Itâ€™s not tough to sniff out properties that are listed for sale (especially if you have a sign in your front yard) and crooks will prey on the easiest targets. Â Side noteâ€¦if you donâ€™t have an electronic lock box on your property then your agent is doing a poor job for you and not using the latest technology to keep you safe. Â My advice, get a new agent.
2. Be extra cautious about locking doors, windows, and closing your garage door when you leave the house. Â With the hustle and bustle of the season and the comings and goings of friends and family members, itâ€™s easy to forget to close the garage door or to lock a patio door. Â If you have a home alarm system, continue to use it during the holidaysâ€¦yeah, someone may accidentally set it off but thatâ€™s better than a break in.
3. Keep Christmas gifts hidden in closets or wrapped underneath the tree. Â Most trees are kept by windows and gifts can be easily spotted through the window. Â Make sure yours arenâ€™t in plain siteâ€¦especially if they are expensive!
4. After opening gifts, make sure you keep any boxes and bags for expensive or highly sought after gifts in your home before trash day. Â Do not leave the packaging out on the curb or in plain site. Â You donâ€™t want the bad guys to know that there are new, valuable items in your home.
5. And lastly, be VERY cautious of those asking for charitable donations. Â Tis the season for giving and we all feel a bit more generous than usual. Â If they come to your door, do not open the door, they can leave an envelope or provide you with information on how to make a donation. Â The bad guys want access to your home and theyâ€™ll go to great lengths to get it.
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season from all of us at The Halle Groupâ€¦Katie, Ryan, Megan, and Gabby!