Vigilance and simple security measures needed on show days

The practice of installing security guards, asking visitors to produce identity documents and asking them not to take bags into the home, now seen at show houses open for the day to visitors, is not excessively cautious or paranoid.

It has, says Nancy Todd, Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group in the Western Cape, become necessary because ‘light fingered’ visitors have occasionally helped themselves to small, easily carried items.

In some cases they have used colleagues to distract the attention of house sitters or agents and have even managed to remove fairly big items, such as paintings and garden hoses.

Discussing this recently, Todd said that when agents are aware of the danger they can usually prevent thefts simply by moving around, keeping their eyes open and ensuring that visitors are not left alone too long.  They can also improve matters by controlling the influx of visitors to the home.  They should, however, also insist – as most do – that all valuables be locked away on show house days and some have even asked domestic staff to stay on for the day.

Asked if the possibility of theft does not mean that the seller should also stay in the home on show days, Todd said that the Rawson Property Group usually discourage this because it can cause sensitive visitors to avoid asking questions that might seem insulting to the owner.  This then means that they do not deal with issues that should be discussed, which, in turn, can mean that they move on without having the full merits of the property explained to them.

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