Open inspections are an integral part of marketing a property to its full potential and regular inspections would generally be regarded as essential whilst the property is on the market.
A sales representative is required to obtain consent from a vendor to conduct open inspections and provide reasonable notice to the vendor (and/or occupant if relevant) of the proposed inspection date, time and duration. To attract maximum interest in the property, the open for inspection times and dates should be communicated to the general public in accordance with the marketing plan that has been agreed between the vendor and the sales representative at the time of signing a sales agency agreement.
Occasionally, theft or damage at open inspections does occur, however, this only occurs in a small percentage of cases and open inspections are still crucial to help achieve the maximum sale price for the property.
Prior to open inspections vendors should remove any items from the property which are regarded as valuable, particularly small items such as jewellery. Vendors should also be aware that any open inspection held is at their own risk and the sales representative, unless negligent, will not be held accountable for any loss or damage. It is therefore important that vendors have appropriate house and contents insurance in place. Most general policies will cover open inspections, but to be 100% sure, take the time to call your insurer and check that your possessions are covered in the event of theft or damage and also check that your public liability insurance will cover an open inspection.
During inspections, your real estate salesperson will generally ask for each person's details as they enter the property. Whilst this practice serves to collect details on people interested in the property, it also acts as a security precaution and discourages dishonest people from attending open inspections.
With just a few sensible precautions, the inspection process should not cause any undue security or safety problems and opening your home should be a positive experience that attracts prospective buyers to your property.
After each inspection, the sales representative should contact the vendor to provide detail of what occurred at the inspection and provide a report on potential purchasers.