Selling a house with a safe

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Kennedy
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:47 pm

Selling a house with a safe

Post by Kennedy »

My parents will be putting their home up for sale soon. They have a safe in a closet that has been bolted to the concrete foundation through the carpet.

My mother is concerned that someone will see the safe when viewing the home (with a real estate agent or perhaps during an open house) and will try to break into the house at a later date since they would then know where the valuables are kept. I've read that with enough time, safes bolted into concrete can still be carried away.

I'm not sure how to advise them short of trying to disguise the safe somehow? My parents don't have any close friends or family nearby that they trust to safeguard their personal property during this process, and they prefer not to get a safe deposit box at the bank. (The safe contents mostly include jewelry.)

I don't think they are so much worried about the loss of the jewelry as the thought of someone breaking into their home in general.

Any advice I can pass along to them?
HomeStretch
Posts: 4975
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by HomeStretch »

Perhaps rent a safe deposit box to store all valuables temporarily and leave the safe empty and open while the house is on the market? If there is a break-in as a result of someone seeing the (open/empty) safe, at least the valuables are stored off-premise.
ponyboy
Posts: 974
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by ponyboy »

Throw a blanket over it? If the house is fully furnished and the closet has clothes/shoes/etc etc in in...it would be easy enough to cover it up to the point its not obvious its a safe. Your parents are overthinking this too much.
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1097
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Remove the items and open the safe when showing the home.
Elena
Posts: 374
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Elena »

I would empty it, and feature it as an asset. "This home features a bolted safe for your treasured valuables, catering to convenience".
smitcat
Posts: 6464
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by smitcat »

Never disclose any personal items to outsiders for showings.
Lock the closet for showings, consider locking up other items as well.
Last edited by smitcat on Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 11738
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Sandtrap »

Use the safe as an additional sales feature.
Empty the contents.
Leave it wide open.

Simple is best.
j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
dknightd
Posts: 2320
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by dknightd »

Elena wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:32 am I would empty it, and feature it as an asset. "This home features a bolted safe for your treasured valuables, catering to convenience".
yep. Put the combo on a post it note. Put instructions one how to change the combo in the safe.
They will eventually have to empty the safe
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds.
gtd98765
Posts: 653
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by gtd98765 »

In real life there are very few cat burglars that dress up in suits and visit houses for sale with a real estate agent in order to case the joint.
ddurrett896
Posts: 1359
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by ddurrett896 »

Get a moving box and cut out the bottom so it covers the safe and write CLOTHES on it.
corysold
Posts: 892
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by corysold »

I'd probably go with trying to hide it for showings and disclosing it to any potential buyers who make an actual offer.

The buyer needs to know it is there, but that shrinks the number of people who know about it dramatically.
michaelingp
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by michaelingp »

With this level of concern, I'd tell the selling agent, "No open houses." My understanding is that open houses don't sell houses anyway, they are just a tool for the agents to get new customers. I agree with another post that buyers accompanied by agents pose virtually zero risk.
quantAndHold
Posts: 5011
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by quantAndHold »

I would just throw a blanket over it and pile some shoes on top, but I know from past threads that I’m more trusting of my fellow humans than a lot of Bogleheads.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
User avatar
Brianmcg321
Posts: 976
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:23 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Every occupied home has valuables in it.
Rules to investing: | 1. Don't lose money. | 2. Don't forget rule number 1.
sjt
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 3:03 pm
Location: NC

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by sjt »

gtd98765 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:29 am In real life there are very few cat burglars that dress up in suits and visit houses for sale with a real estate agent in order to case the joint.
We had someone in the neighborhood get their dirtbike stolen from the garage - someone touring the house unlocked the garage door during a showing and come back that night for the dirtbike while the owners were asleep.

Real estate market was busy so many different showings that day - I don't think they ever found it or who done it
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale
johnubc
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:54 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by johnubc »

No one that I know of will pay more for a house because it has a safe. Nice feature, yes, worth any value in real terms -no.

I would suggest just putting a lock on the Closet door - and lock the door. People will wonder why the closet is locked and it having a safe in it will be a minimal number. People lock closets all the time.
User avatar
hand
Posts: 1496
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by hand »

Definately move valuables out of the house...

For open houses, leave the safe open with stacks of play money and perhaps some fake jewelry - will guarentee that the house is memorable!
Bobby206
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Bobby206 »

sjt wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:00 am
gtd98765 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:29 am In real life there are very few cat burglars that dress up in suits and visit houses for sale with a real estate agent in order to case the joint.
We had someone in the neighborhood get their dirtbike stolen from the garage - someone touring the house unlocked the garage door during a showing and come back that night for the dirtbike while the owners were asleep.

Real estate market was busy so many different showings that day - I don't think they ever found it or who done it
Maybe they did and maybe they didn't.

I remember a couple years ago my neighbor's car was stolen right out from his garage. He said he had sold his old car a week earlier and forgot to clear the garage code inside the sold car. He was sure the buyers of that car came back and used the garage button, in the car, to open the garage and steal his new car. I went back and watched the video from the side of my house, which showed his garage, and guess what? He left his garage door open all night after he got home from work. Could even see the people walk up at 3:00 am and go into his garage. Couldn't make out their faces or anything as it was quite a distance at night. Sort of spooky. However, point is you never know who done it!
Hikes_With_Dogs
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

smitcat wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:34 am Never disclose any personal items to outsiders for showings.
Lock the closet for showings, consider locking up other items as well.
I'd never buy a house that I couldn't look at areas in- including closets.

Personal/$$$ items should be removed from the home when it is being shown. Not the areas where they are kept hidden.
User avatar
Raymond
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:04 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Raymond »

You could be the source of an epic safe thread:

viewtopic.php?t=295877
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"
adamthesmythe
Posts: 3764
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by adamthesmythe »

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:50 am
smitcat wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:34 am Never disclose any personal items to outsiders for showings.
Lock the closet for showings, consider locking up other items as well.
I'd never buy a house that I couldn't look at areas in- including closets.

Personal/$$$ items should be removed from the home when it is being shown. Not the areas where they are kept hidden.
Fer sure. Leaving the safe open and empty is the most straightforward solution.

The seller is moving out anyway, this is a good start on the process.
smitcat
Posts: 6464
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by smitcat »

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:50 am
smitcat wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:34 am Never disclose any personal items to outsiders for showings.
Lock the closet for showings, consider locking up other items as well.
I'd never buy a house that I couldn't look at areas in- including closets.

Personal/$$$ items should be removed from the home when it is being shown. Not the areas where they are kept hidden.
Too funny...
KT785
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:21 pm
Location: Texas Hill Country

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by KT785 »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:37 am Use the safe as an additional sales feature.
Empty the contents.
Leave it wide open.

Simple is best.
j :happy
This was my thought exactly :D

Our current home came with a large, bolted down gun safe in a well concealed location . . . its existence (and conveyance with the home) was part of the listing. Admittedly, I believe the prior owners were using it when we saw the home, but if it were me, I'd empty it and leave it open for showings.

KT785
User avatar
greg24
Posts: 3926
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:34 am

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by greg24 »

sjt wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:00 amWe had someone in the neighborhood get their dirtbike stolen from the garage - someone touring the house unlocked the garage door during a showing and come back that night for the dirtbike while the owners were asleep.

Real estate market was busy so many different showings that day - I don't think they ever found it or who done it
If they don't know who did it, they have no idea if that person toured the house or not. You're just guessing.
atikovi
Posts: 928
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by atikovi »

Kennedy wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:22 am My mother is concerned that someone will see the safe when viewing the home (with a real estate agent or perhaps during an open house) and will try to break into the house at a later date since they would then know where the valuables are kept.
I'd be more concerned about the big screen TV or Christmas tree ornaments still on the tree. People with safes have them for storing documents as much as for valuables.
CMHBuckeye
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:00 pm

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by CMHBuckeye »

Take a large moving box and cut out a portion of the bottom and the back side off so the box will slide over the safe. Write on the side of the box "Summer Clothes" and slide over the safe. That will make if look like it is just a storage box sitting in the closet and most viewers will not give it a second look. You can even put a few pieces of folded clothes on top of the safe just in case somebody peeks inside.
Gill
Posts: 6681
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Selling a house with a safe

Post by Gill »

I once purchased a house that had a safe imbedded in the concrete of a closet and the seller didn't tell me about it until after clossing. I was always grateful he hadn't advertised its existence to the entire world.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal
Post Reply