Selling your home can be a stressful period, particularly when real estate agents call to let you know your house will be shown last minute. If you ever have sold your home, you know this feeling, and it usually comes right when we least expect it. Sometimes, you’re in the middle of cooking dinner while taking care of a sick child when the phone call comes.
However, amid all the chaos that ensues cleaning up last minute and getting out in time, you need to be sure your home is safe. The last thing anyone wants during this time is a lawsuit against their family for a premises liability injury, which can really put a deep hole in your pocket. So during this selling season, when people are constantly strolling in and out of your home, make sure you have a hazard-free house by following a few steps.
Have Homeowner’s Insurance
If you own your home outright, you aren’t required to have homeowner’s insurance like you are when you’re still paying the bills. Although it may seem cheaper to opt out of paying for it, it’s wise to continue paying for the insurance. If a case is filed against your property, you could end up paying for both medical compensation and liability for potential negligence.
Keep Walkways and Rooms Organized and Free of Clutter
Keeping your home free of debris can be a bit easier while trying to sell your home, particularly because you already try to keep it clean while showing. However, if you’re still moving while showing the house, it can be a little more difficult to keep things out of the way when you’re trying to get them out in storage. You will want to make time for keeping it clutter-free though, as trips are a common claim for slip and fall personal injury cases.
Additionally, with advancing technology, cords and wires can sometimes run all over the place. Whether they are part of TV accommodations, vacuum cleaner or computer, you want to keep them behind furniture and not running through the middle of a room. Yes, this will keep your rooms cleaner and more organized, but more importantly, it will prevent trip and falls that will result in medical compensation claims and liability for negligence.
Prevent Slips on Your Property
Know the weather each morning, bright and early, and make arrangements if needed due to icy or wet conditions. If it stormed the night before or a strong cold front came through that froze over your sidewalk, be prepared. Wake up and try to keep any walkways free of slip-causing agents. Shovel out any snow. Put mats out on the patio.
Check Out Your Staircase(s)
Be sure that each stair is identical in size by actually measuring each step. Uneven stairs are a major hazard, particularly for the elderly and the disabled. If you notice any carpet clumping on steps (or really, anywhere in the house), make sure you contact a carpet repairman/cleaner to fix the problem. Carpets and stairs are a major cause of trips and falls on the property.
Lindsay Bradshaw is a blogger for Kyle Law Firm in New Braunfels, Texas. She slipped on waxed floors while viewing a home before.