Under normal circumstances, allowing strangers to roam around your home may seem odd, but an open house is one of the most effective ways to attract potential buyers when selling a home.

When planning an open house, it’s important to consider safety and security and to understand the potential for theft or damage. Fortunately, a few simple steps can go a long way.

Protect your valuables, such as:

  • Portable electronics
  • Jewelry and other valuables
  • Passport and travel documents
  • Receipts, bills and personal information
  • Prescription medication

Thieves know to look in closets and sock drawers, so items should be placed somewhere secure, like a safe, or offsite at a friend’s home.

Keep track of who enters the property by having your real estate representative ask each visitor to show identification and complete a registration form.

Ask your representative to limit the number of visitors at one time, or to bring an assistant to ensure that all visitors are escorted as they tour the property.

Above all, remember that it’s your home and you set the rules for visitors. Communicate early and openly with your registered broker or salesperson about how the open house will work.