The average home burglary takes just 10 minutes, and 80 per cent occur after a home has been surveyed several times. That’s according to a study by British security firm Friedland that also revealed thieves are increasingly turning to online sources to identify burglary targets.
Whether you’re buying or selling a property, the information that’s revealed in online property listings can set the home up as a target for burglary, and even help the thief survey the interior and exterior without ever stepping a physical foot into your neighbourhood.
Photos in the property listing that show valuables on display could make the home a target for burglars. Likewise, photos that show alarm systems and window and door locks may give burglars key tip offs about how to break into the property.
Floor plans will reveal entry and exit points and give the thief a map to your home’s burglary hot spots such as media rooms with expensive home cinema equipment, and cross referencing Google Street View will expose surrounding outdoor areas and possible entry points out of the eye line of neighbours and passing traffic.
Then, with a plan in place, burglars can easily monitor your social media pages to see when you’re out of town or away from your house for an extended period.
The internet is forever
Home buyers should also be careful of property listings that over share. Even though the home is sold, the property listing can remain in the dark back alleys of the internet long after you move in.
Try this: Google your address and review the search results. You’ll likely be presented with an interactive map with satellite and street views, and may find old ‘for lease’ and ‘for sale’ listings with images and floor plans, along with property data – including price estimates – about your home that has been collected by various real estate websites.
So what’s the solution? How do you most effectively advertise your home for sale while not compromising your safety? And what should buyers keep in mind when assessing the burglary risk of a property you’re considering purchasing?
At Pavilion Property, we believe the answer lies in using property listings simply as a conversation starter. That is, a property listing should be like a movie trailer. It should present a sense that the property is special without giving away the little details that will potentially spark the interest of thieves.
For example, we recommend displaying no more than five to seven ‘hero’ photographs in property listings and advise against the use of floor plans online.
Rather, offer a big-picture taste of your home without revealing the features that may compromise its security – now and into the future.
Want to sell your home while protecting your security? Talk to the experts at Pavilion Property.