I recently read a story about a theft in a family’s new home. Turns out the police investigation found the employees of the moving company were the robbers. These two men moved the family to their new home and left a lower-level window unlocked. Not long after, when the homeowners were gone for the day (work, school), these guys got into the house through that window and stole some items.
Moral of the story: Always check your windows to make sure they are locked.
Home sellers: after each showing, check your windows. I’m not saying everyone is dishonest but people do like to test things out. Buyers will run the faucets, open and close a few windows, cabinets, oven, pantry and more. Make a quick check after a showing to make sure your home is safe, even a garage window. If there is a note on the door to the garage telling agents to leave it unlocked (kids might use the key pad to get inside after school) and the garage has windows, that is an easy entry point. Be secure.
Home buyers: after you move in, make sure your windows are locked. Don’t assume they are. The previous owner could have had windows open to air out the house while they were moving out. A less-than-honest worker could unlock a window to get back in. Movers know what kind of stuff you have, especially if they’ve packed it which makes for the point that you should pack your valuables.
Homeowners: you know that “tricky” window in the dining room? Get it fixed so it can close and lock properly. I was recently showing a house to a buyer and discovered a water stain on the window sill that looked like it had been there for a long time. I don’t think it had rained for 90 days at that point. The window, it turned out was left unlocked and opened because it was stubborn and wouldn’t close tightly enough to latch. They are sometimes easy to fix so please, for your safety, get that “tricky” window fixed.
Moving companies do their best to hire the most honest people but like any other business, sometimes a dishonest person can slip through the cracks. Just be aware that if this happened once, it could happen again.
So, how do you know your real estate agent is safe and honest? In a growing number of states real estate agents must go through a background check in order to get and maintain a license. Fingerprints are also kept on file. Recently, Mississippi has joined at least 37 other states that require this.
Eileen Saunders is a Realtor® with Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford, MS. She is an expert at moving, having moved 15 times in 23 years, buying, selling, and renting houses along the way. Her soon-to-be published book, tentatively titled “Moving,” chronicles her family’s adventures over the past years and includes tips to make your moves smoother and less stressful. You can reach Eileen at her office, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 or by phone: 662-234-5344 or 662-404-0816. Eileen is a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® and believes in Equal Housing for all.