Open house inspections are a popular and effective selling tool used by many real estate agents and property owners, however there are risks to be aware of. Injury, theft and damage to your property are all possibilities when opening your home to the public. We’ve created a list of precautionary measures and tips for open house inspections to ensure these don’t happen to you.
As a homeowner or landlord you may be liable for damages and even legal costs if someone is injured on your property during an open house inspection.
Occupiers’ liability legislation outlines that when someone enters your property it’s reasonable for them to expect they won’t be hurt or injured. By law, you have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for anyone who comes onto the property.
If someone is injured during an inspection, you could be liable for their medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering compensation and in some cases their legal costs.
Before an open house inspection ensure your property is safe and secure. Fix any loose pavers or bricks, check fencing is secure and create clear pathways for guests to walk along. Be sure there are no slippery surfaces and remove any potential hazards.
Opening your home to strangers can be an unnerving experience. If you feel uncomfortable about the possibility of theft, no matter how minimal it may be, there are simple steps you can take to minimise the risks.
The first is to remove any items of significant financial or sentimental value, such as jewellery and laptops. It’s also a good idea to store away anything with identifying information such as bills, mail, or business documents which can be photographed or stolen. Removing these items or keeping them locked in a safe place will offer you peace of mind while guests inspect your property.
The second is to voice your concerns to your real estate agency. The agency should register the contact details of all attendees and keep a watchful eye on those entering the property throughout the inspection.
At the end of the inspection ensure your windows are locked and secure. This will guarantee prospective thieves cannot enter your property.
Damage to property
Be prepared for any accidental damage that may occur to your property during an open house inspection. Although unlikely, it’s best to take precautionary measures to protect your home should the unexpected happen.
Check your insurance policies to find out if you are covered for damage during an inspection and establish whether you need to take any additional steps to stay protected. If you don’t have cover, BMT Insurance work with reputable
Australian-based insurance providers to deliver the most suitable and cost-effective insurance for you. Find out more about the range of policies BMT Insurance have access to. They are sure to have the most suitable policy for your situation.
Another good precaution is to take pictures of all the rooms before the open house as proof of the condition of your property. This will help identify if things have been moved or damaged and support any insurance claims you lodge.
For more tips and advice, read our article ‘How to prepare your property for an open for inspection’