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Aussie warns of ‘common’ mistake when selling your house: ‘Telltale sign’

by nytime
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A Victorian homeowner who had a property broken into is warning others of a “really common” mistake to avoid when selling a house.

Steph was heading over to the Melbourne property she sold a couple days after the sale went through and her tenants had moved out. She wanted to make sure everything was in order before the new owners got the keys and moved in.

Needing to grab her drill from the shed to disassemble the furniture, she came to the stark realisation her shed was broken into and all the tools were missing.

“The tenants had only moved out for a couple of days. So someone must have been watching the place,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

A Victorian homeowner is warning others to take their ‘for sale’ sign down as soon as their property is sold, so it does not attract thieves. Source: TikTok/stephadiy

Temporary sign at property a ‘beacon to thieves’

When reporting the matter to Victoria Police on July 8, she was told the triumphant ‘sold’ sign at the front of her property could effectively act as a “beacon to thieves”.

“It’s the first time one of those signs went up and it’s also the first time I’ve had any incident like this,” Steph said. “After it happened, I thought to myself ‘well, it’s kind of a bit obvious’, but it actually isn’t.

“They [the police] said this is really common with houses that have sold or leased signs because it’s a bit of a telltale sign that the property is essentially vacant.

“They also said often kids will break in and have parties, or you end up with squatters.”

‘Best interest’ to get sign down as soon as possible

To avoid situations like these, Steph was recommended to have the sign taken down as soon as the property is sold.

“A lot of people when they call their real estate agent, their real estate agents are a little bit tentative to take it down, because it’s great marketing for them,” she claimed. “But they should be doing what’s in your best interest as a customer and get that down as soon as possible.

“If they won’t assist, there’s often another [third party] number on the back of the sign to get it taken down.”

Steph has since asked the neighbours to park their car in the driveway to make the property look “more lived in”, before the new owners move in.

She also recommended others to take down the serial numbers on their tools, so police are able to return the stolen items if they are found.

Victoria Police confirmed to Yahoo they are investigating a burglary on July 8, where tools were understood to be stolen from a property. Investigations remain ongoing, a spokesperson said.

Social media users praise homeowner for advice

After sharing her experience in a TikTok on Tuesday, the video has received almost 50,000 views, with many commenting on how “common” they thought it must be.

“Three properties I bought all had their copper pipes stolen as it was vacant during the settlement period,” one person claimed.

“We sold a house once and were called that a bunch of kids decided to throw a party in it. It was a week from being finalised,” another said.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

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