tips for keeping your vacant home secure when selling

"What is the best way to keep a vacant home secure when selling? If we get a security system, won't we have to sign up for 12 months? Any other cost effective ideas?"

This question was recently posed in a forum I belong to which is home to over 5,000 Arizona real estate agents. Helpful dialogue ensued, and various tips were shared for those faced with selling their home while it's vacant.

  • While a security system seems like a no-brainier, many sellers are not interested in having to enter into an expensive 12 month contract. Desert Security alleviates this concern and will set you up with a cellular security system and it's month-to-month. Call Ron (one of the owners) at (480) 664-1800 for more information. The agent who recommended Desert Security has used them on over a dozen flips.
  • SimpliSafe is another security system I can personally recommend and use in my own home. The system is cellular, wireless and there's no contract to sign. A real basic system will set you back around $230.00, and monitoring is $15.00 a month. All the sensors are applied with 3M adhesive backing, so when the residence sells, you can take it with you to your new home.
  • A for sale sign in your front yard is great for marketing your home - it is also an advertisement for thieves. If your home is vacant, you may want to consider skipping the sign.
  • One of the lower priced options is The Keypad Controlled Home PIR Motion Alarm available at Home Depot for $19.39 each. These have a powerful 110 db+ siren and are powered by 3 AAA batteries.
  • Have your neighbors keep an eye on your home for any suspicious activity. 
  • Place home security decals, yard stakes or dummy security surveillance cameras at the property. A wide variety of options are available from Amazon and other online retailers.

Additional Tip:

Keep your homeowners insurance current throughout the entire term of the listing. If the residence is going to be vacant for more than 30 days, your going to want to purchase a "vacancy endorsement." Contact your homeowners insurance provider for more information.