One reason to list your house with a professional Realtor® is having a record of who comes into your house while it is listed. In San Antonio, the Board uses the SUPRA system which electronically records the identity of the agent that opens the box to get the key, and it's a Board violation for an agent to let another agent use their key. If there is a problem in your house, your listing agent should have some resources to help address it.
Some agents are better at staying with their buyers than others, but even with the most conscientious agents, things can happen. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when your home is on the market.
It's a good idea to put away family photos and other clues to the identity and ages of the residents. In addition, because our human eyes are drawn to pictures of people, having a lot of personal photos around can actually distract potential buyers from seeing your house.
It's a good practice to turn off all computers, and your electronics should also be password protected. Many of us have data stored on our computers that identity theives would love to get their hands on.
Personal papers--certificates, passports, deeds, wedding certificates, tax documents, diplomas, credit card statements--all need to be out of reach from wandering eyes and sticky fingers. If possible put under lock-and- key or store off-site. Spare credit card or blank checks should also be secured, but don't forget your mail. The mail you haven't dealt with yet should at least be stored out of sight. Even sticky notes or family calendars could have information the nefarious-minded could use.
Jewelry and cash can easily walk off, but so can heirlooms or the family silver. Artwork or firearms would best be stored off-site as well. Hiding valuable may not be enough because if you can think of the hiding place, so can a thief.
Even if you think your prescription medicine won't provide a high, some people will steal it just because they can. And some medicines can be abused in a way you'd never imagine. In addition, it will have personal information on the label. Don't leave prescription medicines in the medicine cabinet. Store it away, and if you can lock it away.