The right agent makes a big difference

Compare local agents side-by-side, for free

Get Started

Protecting Your Privacy When Selling a House

When you have decided to sell your home, you’ll want to show it to as many potential buyers as possible. However, at the same time it’s important to think about how to best protect your privacy throughout the selling process. You are basically inviting strangers to take a wander through your home when you put a property up on the market, particularly if you decide to hold open house inspections. It’s easy to overlook this issue, because it’s human nature to want to think the best of others. We want to assume that no one will want to harm us or meddle in our private affairs, and that they will respect our belongings.

Yet unfortunately there are buyers who will not have the same level of respect that you would like. If you are holding open for inspections, you may wish to have a real estate agent there to help you screen buyers to prevent any damage. Find a real estate agent by registering now with LocalAgentFinder, which allows you to compare and select qualified agents in your area.

Although most buyers won’t be intending to snoop through your home, they may come across sensitive documents if you leave them out in the open. Because property carries such a high price tag, buyers will inadvertently be looking for any tools they can use during negotiation.  If you leave documents in the open, they could potentially use this information against you later on. Many sellers are aware of this fact, but are unsure of what they can do to protect their privacy. The following tips can help you protect yourself during the selling process.

De-Personalise the Home

One of the first steps to take is to remove any personal items from the home. This is often listed as a tip for staging the house, in order to allow buyers to imagine themselves living in the property. Yet it also serves the purpose of protecting your privacy at the same time. You can go through the house, removing any items which may indicate personal beliefs, preferences, or any clues regarding your current living situation. Magazines, books, framed photographs, family photos, and refrigerator magnets could all be cleared away. Although these seem like harmless objects, buyers could potentially glean some information about your beliefs or personality from them.

Many people have their own prejudices and personal beliefs, and if they are led to believe that your own values aren’t in alignment with their own, they could decide to buy elsewhere. When you receive an offer, it should be based purely on the merits and qualities of your property, rather than any personal information about you.

Remove Personal Documents

After you have removed any clues regarding your personal convictions and lifestyle, the next step is to meticulously go through your property looking for any confidential documents. These may be hidden away in drawers or cabinets, but they will not be safe from the prying eyes of buyers during an inspection. Buyers are perfectly justified if they want to open up drawers or cupboards during this time, as they want to see what type of dimensions are available. In order to protect your privacy, you’ll need to move these confidential documents to a locked cabinet or even take these off the premises entirely.

This includes any documents related to the house sale, such as a valuation of the property. If you’re unsure about any documents, it’s best to ask your real estate agent for an opinion. They will know if there are documents that should be kept away from buyers, and can recommend what to do with them. Find a real estate agent to represent your best interests by comparing proposals using the free dashboard at LocalAgentFinder. This will help clear up any confusion.

Go Through the Bedroom

Your bedroom is one of the most personal areas of the home. Although you may think that you have nothing but clothing in there, it’s surprising what information your bedroom could reveal about you. If your bedroom contains a photograph of a couple along with a wardrobe stocked with only male clothing, the buyer could infer that the couple is in the process of getting a divorce and wishes to make a quick sale. This could lead to the buyer making a lower offer in order to try and convince you to go lower than your asking price in favour of a quick sale. By removing clues about your personal life, buyers will only have the physical characteristics of your property as a tool to work with when they are making their offers.

Move Mail Out of Sight

Another key area to pay attention to is your personal correspondence. Although you may leave opened mail lying about the house when you’re at home, you’ll need to clear this away when it’s time for an open for inspection. Mail can include highly sensitive personal information, including your bank statements, credit card statements, and mortgage statements. A buyer could use this information against you, resulting in an offer far below your asking price. Always keep your mail hidden. If the property is already vacant, be sure that someone you trust is the one who picks it up for you. This will prevent a buyer stepping through the door and seeing a pile of debt collection requests.

Using a real estate agent during the selling process is highly recommended. They can not only help organise your open house inspections, but can provide an extra layer of security during these times. Sellers have been using LocalAgentFinder to connect with licensed real estate agents since 2007. Find out how it works and start your process of preparing your house for the most profitable sale today.

You can also learn more by reading our following articles:

LocalAgentFinder View all articles by LocalAgentFinder

The only place to compare agent fees online.

Finding the right agent is simple

Thousands of agents have posted their details online for you to view

Get Started