Selling a Vacant Home—Simple, Effective Protection Measures

If you’re selling your home in SF and have moved out leaving the house empty and unlived in—meaning the castle is unguarded—one of the main concerns is How do I protect my house? Vandals and thieves are as evolutionarily adaptable as cockroaches so you need to stay ahead of them in the protection curve.

Here are some simple (and affordable) ways to protect your now-empty house:

1.) Check your insurance policy right away. What changes when you’ve left your home? How long will it cover the vacant home? There are vandalism and mischief coverage policies from some companies.

2.) The home’s exterior lighting should be beefed up. Timed lights and motion-activated lights are very efficacious deterrents to burglars and vandals. Include sheds and other outlier buildings. Timed lights indoors create the sense of being at home at night.

3.) If it’s impossible to visit your home off and on, ask a friend, relative or a neighbor to visit the home periodically. You may have to pay someone for this and there are companies that offer this service, plus taking care of any outdoor or other maintenance tasks.

4.) Be sure to alert the SF Police Department that you’ve moved out and the house is vacant. Submit a list of all people authorized to be on the property and make sure the police have your contact number, and the name, phone and address of a local person you have an arrangement with.

5.) Keep the home security system active. Don’t deactivate the system to save money. Vacant homes are easy targets for burglars and vandals (who strip everything that is of remote value down to basic plumbing) and the security and monitoring system can help keep them out. It could pay to have some kind of system installed to protect the empty house, as vandalism can be extremely costly.

6.) Replace weak or shoddy entry doors with hard wood or steal doors that come with strong locks. Perhaps set up an automatic timing system for lighting systems. Alert the home security company that your home will be empty. Set blinds partially open to look like you’re home and some light comes in.