A fellow agent in Texas recently posted this great article about safety while selling your house. I often advise sellers not to do this very thing. I also think this is a very good reason NOT to sell your home yourself. When you chose to attempt to sell your house yourself, you are forced to allow strangers in your home without very little screening, if any.
Last summer, one of my sellers took a day off from work to get some additional staging and clean-up done around her house. Hubby was at work and the kids were at school. A very nice looking, well-dressed lady pulled up in front of her house and rang the doorbell. The lady said that she was just driving by, picked up a flyer from the flyer box, and just couldn't wait to see inside the house. She wanted to know if she could take a quick peek right then. She said she was friends with one of the neighbors.
My seller told her that she was in the process of cleaning up a bit, and the house was a mess, and that it would be best if she came back later with her Realtor.
Now, I had told the sellers repeatedly to NEVER let someone in to look at the house unless they were with their Realtor and had an appointment. So my seller was thinking about what I told her, but the lady seemed really nice, so she finally relented and let the nice lady in for a quick tour. The lady loved the house and said she would get with her Realtor right away to come back for a better look.
The next day, my seller was back at work and their house was robbed! The thief took their big flat-screen TV, some jewelry, and a few other things. When they got home from work and discovered the robbery, they had only about an hour before their first officially scheduled showing. So they hurriedly brought a spare TV from the kids' game room into the den where the missing TV had been, called the police, filed a report, and then went next door while their house was being properly shown by a Realtor who had an appointment.
Now the robbers may or may not have had anything to do with the lady who took a quick tour of the house the day before, but it seemed possible that she could have quickly scoped out the place, made some polite conversation with the owner about why she was home that day, and returned for the loot when the owners were at work.
The funny thing about this is that my sellers NEVER TOLD ME WHAT HAPPENED...until several months later. The wife said they were embarrassed that they hadn't followed my warning about letting strangers in to look at the house, so they didn't tell me.
Needless to say, they never did that again!
So the moral of this story is....Sellers, NEVER let someone in to look at your house unless they are with their Realtor and they have a scheduled appointment!