Homes open for inspections – the risk to you and your valuables | Rob Balanda

It is a surprise that I don’t receive the following query more often.

“Recently we had an open house as we are trying to sell. It appears that during the open, someone may have taken some valuables (jewellery).

We can’t prove it but we are sure they were in a top draw in the bedside table before the open. We have approached the agent who insists that it couldn’t have happened.

How could we have avoided this loss and would we be covered under our contents policy?”

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I have a friend whose hobby is “five and six star hotels”.

That is, he enjoys spending his time staying at and experiencing the luxury and fit out of these superior accommodation buildings.

He regularly regales me about his trips overseas and how many new five star hotels he stayed at and the level of their luxury.

He also commented to me after his last trip about how many hotels now have members of staff standing sometimes in each room or in strategic locations in the hotel just as if it was one of the world’s top museums.

The hotel management are obviously anxious to protect their artworks and furnishings and fittings.

So too, I have noticed on Open for Inspections for luxury homes, a growing practice amongst the agents, who operate on the top level of residential sales of not only carefully I.D’ing everyone who enters the property, but stationing sales staff in key locations so that they can obviously keep an eye on the owners

Having your home properly insured too is just as essential.

In answer to the query above, in my experience most insurance policies do include cover for the theft of items during an Open for Inspection.

Be aware though that these policies will only have a general amount for such items as jewellery so therefore unless you have specifically covered the set of pearls your grandmother left you then you will find that the most policies only cover to an amount running into the hundreds of dollars for their loss.

So the moral of the story is…

Don’t leave your Rolex lying around during the Open for Inspection.

As for what action to take to recover the losses it is simply a matter of lodging a claim through your broker or your insurance company backed up with a letter from the agent confirming your complaint following the Open House.             


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Rob Balanda


Rob is a partner in the Gold Coast based law firm MBA Lawyers. He is a highly regarded educator of property investors and estate agents and the author of the "Made Simple" series of books and CD's.

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