How to Keep Your Home Safe During an Open House

Guest Post by Rose Thibodeaux,

open houseLetting complete strangers tour your home is a little unnerving. Along with dealing with lots of unknown visitors, you may also fear judgment for hoarding unfinished Pinterest projects in your laundry room. Most things that can cause social embarrassment are easy to hide, but it is worth putting some thought into keeping your home and belongings secure throughout the process of finding a buyer. Here are some safety and security tips that protect your home and your peace of mind.

Preparing for Your Open House

The moment you decide to put your home on the market is the moment that you prepare to host strangers. It’s a normal part of the selling process, and you can make yourself feel more comfortable by thinking through the following.

  • Check with your insurance carrier so you know what your policy covers. Do you have enough insurance to cover any potential property damage? Do you have enough to cover valuables?
  • Let your neighbors know that you are planning an open house and ask them to keep an eye out for anything unusual

T’was the Night Before The Tour

The night before your open house, start putting away valuables. If you aren’t sure what that might be, consider what the FBI considers valuable. According to the FBI the most commonly stolen items include money, jewelry, office equipment, clothing/furs, electronics, and firearms. As you start to put away these valuables, create a checklist that will help you organize the process for future open houses, and ensure that you don’t overlook anything in the rush.

  • Hide your family calendars: guests really don’t need to know when your family plans to be away nor do they need to know where you plan to be
  • Put away pictures of your children
  • Lock away passports, extra keys, financial statements and social security cards
  • Stow wine, liquor, cigars, and prescription drugs

On the Day of the Open House

For safety purposes it is best to wait at your home until your agent arrives and officially pass the safety baton to them. Be sure to walk your agent through the home and orient them as needed. Also, ask your agent if you can help them close up at the end of the open house. Together you can check all areas of your house including closets and your backyard. Double check all of the locks on windows and doors to make sure they are secured as they were before the open house started. You can feel great knowing that you are protecting your home and belongings but also helping keep your agent safe.

You are now an open house safety graduate. May your house show well and sell quickly!

About Rose Thibodeaux, Security Gem
Guest Author Rose Thibodeaux is the co-owner of SecurityGem. SecurityGem is a site dedicated to providing home security related information and consumer reviews of home security systems.

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.


  • Debra L. Gawet

    Hi Rose!

    Excellent article! Safety is extremely important when it comes to an open house. Not only for the Real estate agent, but as you mentioned, also for the homeowner. Allowing guests to tour the home makes the home extremely vulnerable to those looking to take advantage of the situation. Putting extra effort to ensure precautionary measures are implemented will help to give the homeowner peace of mind.

    Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Kind regards,
    Debra L. Gawet

    • SecurityGem

      You’re welcome Debra. I couldn’t agree more!