Empty houses with contractor material or Pods out front . . . Empty houses with any sort of listing sign out front . . . Houses where it’s obvious no one is there on a regular basis . . . . these can all be magnets for crime. The good news is that there are a few easy ways to mitigate the risks.
1. Lock up your valuables.
Avoid leaving valuable tools in the workspace. At the end of the day, pack everything up and clean it up, so your house looks cared for and neat. If there are no valuable tools or materials lying around it will be a lot less interesting to a criminal.
2. Install flood lights.
The people who purchase your home will be grateful that they don’t have to install motion-sensitive flood lights. These lights are sensitive enough to turn on when they sense movement in their space, so put them by the front door or near windows, and around back near the shed.
3. Talk to the neighbors.
The neighbors will probably be happy that you are fixing up an empty home. Get to know them and they could be your eyes and ears. Let them know your phone number and also encourage them to call the police or the neighborhood watch group if they see something amiss at your property.
4. Put lights on a timer.
It’s obvious when people leave every light in the house on all night long that no one is home. Putting lights on a random timer makes it a lot less obvious that no one is in the residence. You can set living room and bedroom lights to go on and off at different times, and even have other lights like the bathroom come on at various times. Any criminals keeping an eye on your house will notice lights flipping on and off at times throughout the night. Leave the home’s curtains either open or closed as you would if you lived there.
5. Don’t tip off criminals on the web.
It can be tempting to start your marketing early and put a notice all over the internet that your house is coming up for sale. But stop and think about where you’re posting and what you’re posting. If there’s a chance that the criminal element could read what you posted and figure out the hours that someone is not at the house, think twice about posting.