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How to Sell a Safe Home in a Sketchy Neighborhood

By Guest Author | December 19, 2013

Selling a home at all in this economy is generally difficult, but trying to pawn away a property in a neighborhood which is notorious for crimes such as theft and vandalism can be nearly impossible. There are ways to pull the wool over the eyes of other buyers; but in an age when crime statistics are available within a matter of seconds through an online search, it’s probably better to think of ways to spruce up your property in ways that demonstrates your home’s safety rather than pray that your buyers aren’t wise enough to do their homework.

While it may have been a practice of the past to resort to tricks and deception to convince buyers that your neighborhood isn’t as bad as it seems, there are more feasible (and ethical) ways to make a case for the safety of your home. Follow these tips before selling your home if a sketchy neighborhood is getting in the way of making a sale.

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Security features

Nothing inspires confidence in buyers about a home’s ability to deter criminals than conspicuous home security features. If you already have the wiring ready to go, or even some pieces of security equipment already out, it’s highly recommendable that you point these out to anyone inspecting your home. Even if you’re of the mindset that stealthy security equipment placement should be a priority, move these to more immediately obvious locations.

While your neighborhood might not inspire much confidence, making security cameras, alarms or home security company signage immediately obvious will create an impression that your home is an exception to the rule to any local crime trends. If you don’t have any security features wired to go, a basic system installed in your property can be an addition that can end up benefiting you in terms of what buyers will be willing to pay – especially if it’s a make-or-break feature in their final decision.

Modifications and additions

While a security system can make a strong statement about the safety of your home, it’s a great idea to focus on some easy, affordable upgrades that can convince buyers. If cost isn’t as great of an issue, ensure that your property has a tall, sturdy fence to repel home invasion. Provided that this fence complies with local zoning codes or neighborhood committee guidelines, an adequate fence can provide a real sense of safety.

If you’re expecting to show off the property during the evening as things become dark, make sure to use floodlights throughout your porch and around the property. This will make your home stand out and appear safer than neighboring homes. For an even stronger impact, consider hooking up these floodlights to a motion sensor.  Arriving at a home to see it light up will make a huge impact on conveying your home’s safety.

Finally, though more subtle improvements, it’s also worthwhile to make improvements to windows and doors to demonstrate their ability to repel burglars. Doors can be upgraded relatively easily with a jamb reinforcement plate, an additional lock, or even an electronic / biometric lock (which have become increasingly affordable options for those who seek to impress.) Windows can be bolstered with shatter-resistant window films, which are one of the most affordable security features and takes a matter of minutes to install.

Finally, make sure to do all that you can to make your front entrance neat and visible from the street; having a main entrance which can’t be easily spotted from the street can be immediately discouraging. With these improvements and additions, your home can not only appear safe, but as a haven amidst an otherwise troubled neighborhood. If you can make a convincing argument that your home offers safety, it won’t matter what other nearby homes look like for most budget-conscious buyers.

By Zach Trupp, a nearing the hill survivalist writer and DIY home improvement junkie. Zach is currently partnered with Safemart, who provides security solutions nationwide.

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