The safety talk you need to have with sellers

Here's a safety checklist to review with sellers:

Valuables. Remind customers that strangers will be walking through their home during showings or open houses. Tell them to hide any valuables in a safe place. For security's sake, they should remove keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs and other valuables from the home or lock them away during showings.

Prescription drugs. A growing number of real estate professionals are reporting the theft of prescription drugs from sellers' homes during open houses. To safeguard against this, suggest your clients remove or lock up all prescriptions.

Personal information. Sellers shouldn't leave personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it and potentially copy down Social Security numbers or details from credit card or bank statements.

Electronics. Advise sellers to turn off computers and lock up laptops and any other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like mini iPads, before showings.

Impromptu showings. Tell your clients not to show their home by themselves. Alert them that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Tell your sellers not to talk to other agents or buyers, and to refer all inquiries to you.

Pet protocols. Instruct your clients that they are responsible for their pets. If possible, remove animals during showings. Make clients aware that buyers and agents are sometimes attacked, and the owner will be held liable.

Doors and windows. Let your clients know that when you leave their property, you will make sure that all doors and windows are locked, but that when they return home, they should immediately verify that all doors are locked, and all valuables accounted for.