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The Pros and Cons of Deactivating Your Security Alarm When Selling Your Home

A home security system can be a big boost when selling your home. Many buyers will appreciate the added safety measure, as well as the savings they can get by not having to install a new system from scratch. They can also enjoy added benefits, such as getting a discount on home insurance premiums.

However, arming your security alarm while your property is on the market can prove to be a nuisance, which may even cost you a sale. When determining how to get your home ready to sell, one of the questions to ask is, should you keep your security alarm on?

Advantages of keeping your alarm activated

It’s no secret that once you put up a “For Sale” sign on your yard, you’re also likely to invite burglars to case your home. This is especially true when you’ve already moved out, or are selling a vacation home and are not around most of the time.

Telluride is a safe community, with very few burglaries. Keeping your alarm activated will give you peace of mind that your home is secure even when you’re miles away, especially if your agent is obligated to attend all showings.

Disadvantages of activating your alarm

Unfortunately, the sense of security you get when you keep your security alarm on could be offset by the consequences.

  • Even when you leave specific instructions to your Realtor, unexpected events can trigger the alarm. A buyer’s agent who doesn’t know the code can accidentally set off the alarm while showing the home to a client. It can be a real nuisance if your Realtor is not available to provide the code to disarm the alarm. The inconvenience might turn off potential buyers or stop other agents from showing the property to buyers.
  • False alarms can lead to costly fines. Moreover, if the police or security company gets too many false alarms from your property, they could get jaded and might not respond promptly when there’s a real security threat.
  • Never publish the code on your MLS listing, other agents can have access to it, and the information could be unwittingly passed on to untrustworthy individuals
  • If you leave the code on the lockbox, there’s always the chance it could get lost or misplaced

What you can do

Weigh the benefits of keeping the alarm on versus potentially losing buyers and triggering false alarms. If you see the need to enhance your home’s security while it’s on the market, consider these measures:

  1. Make sure your Realtor is well versed about arming and disarming the system
  2. You’re responsible for ensuring anyone who has access to your home, including your Realtor, knows how to operate the security system and has the code to activate and deactivate the alarm. You might also want to provide your agent with a different code. This will let you know when they’ve been to your home and for how long.

  3. Talk to your security system provider about your options
  4. Inform your provider that you’re putting the home up for sale and that other real estate agents in addition to your own may be accessing the property for buyer viewings. Ask the provider for recommendations on how to avoid false alarms while keeping the property protected.

  5. Ask your provider about an “abort” option
  6. Your security system provider may be able to set up an “abort” option or a “dialer delay.” This allows an authorized person to disarm the alarm a few seconds after it goes off but before the signal reaches the security company or the police. This can help minimize the chances of a false alarm.

    You may also arrange for your security provider to call you when the alarm goes off before they contact the police. Make sure to leave a mobile number where you can easily be reached.

  7. Don’t let strangers wander through your home on their own
  8. It’s not a good idea for you or your Realtor to hover around buyers and their agents when they go through your home. You need to give them space to be able to talk about your home freely. However, for security reasons, you should also make sure no one wanders around the property unattended. Talk to your Realtor about finding the right middle ground. In addition, ask your agent to keep a record on who goes in and out your home, even during an open house.

  9. Secure your valuables
  10. If you’re leaving valuables in the home, such as jewelry, keys, electronic devices, and others, make sure they’re stored somewhere secure like a hidden safe, locked cabinets and drawers, and other storage spaces that are accessible only to you or people you authorize. A professional home stager may be able to give suggestions before they start work on your home.

With over 60 years of collective experience on Telluride real estate, we at Team TD Smith can recommend solutions to your concerns about the safety of your home. Call us today at 970.729.1577 or at TD(at)TDSmith(dotted)com.