Cyber security and selling property
So what’s the best way to stay safe when selling your home online?
About month or so ago, we posted a blog examining how the global pandemic has impacted on estate agents, quickening the march towards the online business model – and out of necessity rather than convenience.
These days, technology and media have made the internet an essential tool for buyers. After all, it’s no secret that, with a click of the mouse, you can find out more about the performance of local schools, wi-fi connectivity, the amount of recent development, crime levels and even traffic around a property you have your eye on.
It therefore makes sense that estate agents have been adding things like drone footage, 3D photography and virtual viewings to the mix. If you know buyers are browsing anyway, why not give them even more information which could help clinch a serious inquiry or even a sale?
How much are you giving away?
But, while more buyers may be embracing the concept of internet research and the global pandemic has encouraged more estate agents to leave “breadcrumb trails” for them to find, sellers need to be be careful they’re not giving too much info away.
If you’re working from home right now – like many of us are – just pretend you’re selling your home and have a look around the room for anything which may say something about you.
Do you have family pictures on the mantle? They may show useful data for info gatherers who will already have your address as it’s in the headline of the advertisement for your home. If there’s a cat flap in any of the images, they know you have a pet too.
Admittedly, these aren’t huge security issues; they’re just the kind of thing which makes it easier for less scrupulous firms to target their advertising.
Much worse are the documents left in view which actually do include personal details such as bank account numbers and sort codes, calendars showing dates when you won’t be at home, or a roughly scribbled Post-It note left next to the security alarm to remind you of the code to switch it off.
Threats of the digital age
Images never used to be all that crisp; it might have been hard to read a newspaper headline, never mind a line of text in a letter. However, while enhanced digital technology may show off your home to its best effect, it can also tell viewers a little too much – and not everyone trawling the sites may be a genuine buyer.
As they used to say on Crimewatch in the UK: “Don’t have nightmares.” There are so many properties on the market at any given time, it’s unlikely a little indiscretion is going to find itself in the hands of the wrong person.
But, just the same, if you are selling your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry so there’s no harm in having a final sweep around the place before the photographer arrives and looking at every room with the eyes of an outsider to see if there’s anything on show you don’t really want them to see.
How can we help?
If you’re considering selling property overseas – particularly in Turkey or Portugal – and you’d like some hints and tips, feel free to give us a call. We’re also here if you’d like a heads-up on how to plan or even just a no-obligation chat about the pros and cons of investing in property or moving to Portugal or Turkey.
It’s not just about the buying and selling of homes; we can also help with the logistics, paperwork and advice before, during and after your move so feel free to get in touch. We’d love to help if we can.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful or, if you’d like to check out our full portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.