Open House

I’m a Real Estate Agent, Here are 12 Items to Never Leave Out at Your Open House

Are you having an open house? Being mindful of what you leave out during an open house is important. As a real estate agent, I often worry about my clients leaving their valuables at home during an open house. It’s easy for thieves to pose as potential buyers and steal things. Open houses can be quite busy, with many parties viewing the home and potential buyers asking me questions, making it impossible to monitor the entire property. It’s unrealistic to expect your real estate agent to keep an eye on your belongings during an open house. That’s why I want to share a list of items that should not be left out during an open house. I’m also giving you my open house checklist for you to download as a free printable (see below).

Things to Never Leave Out at an Open House

1. Jewelry and Cash

It’s always wise to secure your valuable items such as jewelry and cash before hosting an open house. This way, you can avoid the risk of losing your valuable jewelry. You don’t want to tempt thieves! 

Don’t just leave cash and jewelry in an unlocked drawer. You should store them in a locked drawer or safe to keep them out of sight. If your kids have piggy banks in their bedrooms, remove them so it doesn’t catch the attention of thieves. 

Things to Never Leave Out at Open House

2. Expensive Collectibles

If you own valuable collectibles such as vintage plates, baseball cards, or even Pokemon cards, don’t to leave them out during your open house. It’s best to keep them in a locked drawer or pack them in an unmarked box. If possible, store these valuable collectibes at a relative’s or friend’s house, or rent a storage space to keep them safe.

3. Designer Bags and Shoes

Don’t leave your designer bags, shoes, and clothes in your walk-in closet during your open house. This is an invitation for thieves to make off with your valuable items. 

As a real estate agent, I always advise my clients to keep their designer bags and shoes out of sight since it’s difficult for me to keep an eye on them during an open house. 

Having expensive designer clothes and accessories on display in your closet could also make you a target for burglars who might come back later to rob you. It’s best to pack your designer shoes and bags in unmarked boxes or store them securely in a storage facility.

4. Electronic Devices

It’s best not to leave valuable items like iPads, laptops, cellphones, and gaming devices such as the Nintendo Switch out in the open during an open house. You never know who might be walking into your home, and leaving these pricey gadgets in plain sight could invite thieves to steal them. It’s also not advisable to leave expensive accessories like Apple AirPods or high-end headphones out where they can be easily snatched. Even charging cables should not be left out in the open, as they too can be taken by anyone with sticky fingers.

5. Personal Items

Putting away personal items like pictures, diplomas, and awards before your open house is always wise. It’s important to store any mail or documents with your name, address, or personal information. 

It’s best to keep these items locked away and out of sight for your privacy and to keep them away from prying eyes. 

Things to Never Leave Out at Open House

6. Pets

Before your open house, it’s best to hide any pet-related items such as the pet crate, toys, and accessories. Pets can easily turn off potential buyers who are not into pets.  

Also, don’t leave your cats or dogs at home since they can distract visitors from viewing your house. Don’t even leave your dog in his crate because the barking is just disruptive and will scare off some buyers. 

As a real estate agent, I have a no pets at home during open house policy. From my experience, pets can take away from potential buyers’ ability to see how nice your house is. 

The same goes for pet birds, which can become noisy and frighten buyers. It’s better not to have them at home. But if you can’t take your pet bird out of the house, put up a “Don’t Touch” sign to avoid accidental bites. Also, make sure to clean your pet bird’s cage so that there are no foul odors. 

If you have pet fish, leaving them in the house is okay, as they are more decorative. But make sure that your fish tank is clean and presentable. Put away any fish food and accessories so the area looks neat.

7. Garage Door Opener

Don’t forget to keep your garage door opener out of sight. Don’t even leave it in a drawer where it’s easily accessible. 

You wouldn’t want to risk having someone steal your garage door opener and then use it to gain access to your home later on. So, be sure to store it somewhere secure in a locked drawer.

8. Prescription Drugs

Before your open house, it’s important to remember not to leave your prescription drugs lying around. It’s best to avoid storing them in the medicine cabinet or the drawers in the bathroom, as they could easily fall into the wrong hands. Keep your medication safe and secure by keeping it safely locked away.

9. Expensive Artwork

Another thing you shouldn’t leave out on display during your open house are expensive artwork. You never know who might come into your home. Often times thieves will come into open houses to scope out properties and if they see expensive artwork, they may end up coming back to break in your home. To reduce the risk of becoming a target for robbery, replace your expensive artwork with cheap prints.

10. Firearms and Weapons

Don’t leave guns, bullets and weapons lying around in your open house. Even if you keep them in a drawer, you never know who might open it. Imagine if it’s a young child who finds your gun. To avoid such a terrible situation, it’s best not to leave them out in the open.  

Also if you have a gun safe, make sure you keep it hidden. You never know who might walk into your house, and they could be thieves who are scouting for properties to break into. 

11. Political Signs

Another thing you shouldn’t leave out in an open house are political signs. Magnets, stickers and anything to show your political affiliation is a big no-no. 

The reason being that you don’t want to influence or sway potential buyers with your political views. It’s better to remain neutral and focus on showcasing the features of your property instead of distracting the visitors with political messaging.

12. Keys

Don’t leave keys out during an open house. You might have a designated spot, like a bowl or a hook, where you store your spare car keys and other keys. 

It’s important to remember to put them away during an open house to avoid the possibility of them getting stolen. The last thing you want is for someone to drive off with your car!

Get Your Free Open House Checklist

I’m sharing my open house checklist to help you prepare for your open house. Download the free open house checklist now. 

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