Blog Listings The Dark Place of Thievery & Vacant Homes

The Dark Place of Thievery & Vacant Homes

By Tracy Dau, August 24, 2020

The Portland Police Bureau has shared that commercial crimes have risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic while residential crimes have stayed the same in comparison to last year. It sure doesn’t feel that way. Last month my daughter’s bike was stolen from our garage in SE Portland. This week, thieves with a truck and a crew of helpers cut the top of our Thule roof box off the top of our car with $10,000 plus in adventure gear. Finally, there is my clients SE listing, that is vacant and beautifully staged and has seen TWO break-in’s over the last week. The first “hit” on the home resulted in the loss of 1/2 of the staging items, including furniture, carpets, lighting, accessories and the removal of a Nest thermostat. Those thieves gained access through a window (that was locked).
After the first round of theft, our sellers installed individual alarms to all doors and windows. If triggered, a mind-numbing sound would be activated and the thief would hopefully run away. My partner and I also began to check on the property daily for our sellers; either a morning or evening trip to the home to make sure all was good. Even with the sound activating alarms, the French doors were pried open at their base to allow a second person to enter and turn off the system. This time, nothing was physically taken. The only signs that someone had used the home was the dampness of the shower curtain and a blackened cigarette butt.

If you are about to have your home staged and will be listing it as vacant, I would consider the hiring the back to base monitoring sydney services:

1.) Check your insurance policy……….Insurance companies are justifiably concerned about the liability a vacant home presents. You’ll want to contact your insurance company to find out how your coverage might change once you’ve left your home. You should also ask if there are specific precautions you must take to secure your home, and how long the policy will cover your vacant home. Some insurance companies specialize in offering “Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Coverage” that protects your unoccupied home. In our case, the sellers home owners insurance is covering the lost staging items.
2.) Use exterior lighting…..Fortify your home against intruders by improving your home’s exterior lighting. A combination of lights on timers and motion activated lights will deter burglars. Be sure that the entrances of your home are well lit, and don’t neglect the sides of your home where intruders are less likely to be noticed. There are home security systems that offer enhanced exterior lights that integrate with security cameras. When the light detects motion, the home security camera is activated and records video. You can view that video on your web enabled device.
3.) Prepare your home….Before you vacate your home, prepare it by doing things like replacing shoddy entry doors with hard wood or steel doors that boast strong locks. You’ll also want to make sure that all windows are closed and locked and it’s a good idea to set up a few lights on timers. A home automation system gives you the convenience of turning lights on and off remotely. If your home has blinds you should check True Value Outdoor Blinds Sydney you can turn them up so nature light is let in, without telling burglars that the house is vacant. Make sure you alert your home security company (if you have one) that your home will be vacant and provide them with the name of the people who can access your home.
4.) Leave a small radio playing at night in an area that a thief can not see. Turn up the volume so that voices can be heard on the radio while someone stands outside of the door. I prefer finding a news channel as opposed to a music station so voices can be heard.
5.) Leave some inside lights ON – Including one in the basement of the home.

Protecting your vacant home while selling it takes a bit of forethought, but it’s easy to do and doesn’t have to break the bank. I hope that you call can use some of these clues to prevent a break-in at your casa. Love and peace

Tracy Dau

Broker | Earth Advantage | OR


When you meet Tracy Dau, it doesn’t take long to realize where her true passions lie.  She loves houses and loves matching her clients with the place that’s perfect for them.  Ask her clients and they’ll tell you she’s a whirlwind of energy, a juggler of projects, a creative force, a good listener and a tireless advocate.  She comes to the job with a vision for what’s possible and the background to make that happen. Maybe it’s because she grew up in the breathtaking town of Juneau Alaska, where it rains 250 days a year.  It’s the kind of place where you either give into gloomy weather or dig deep and find the will to preserve. Maybe it’s because her folks instilled in her the drive to succeed. For the past sixteen years she has gutted and restored many houses, using any opportunity to work with her hands. Blending her formal training as a fine artist and designer with her experience as a builder, these old-house remodels have become her creative canvas. Her time as a product developer and architectural consultant at Rejuvenation House Parts introduced her to a community of like-minded folks who encouraged her to become a REALTOR®. She is drawn to vintage homes. The artist in her is drawn to their detail, the builder in her to their craftsmanship. Their charm and imperfections make them all the more fascinating and soulful. That’s what drew her to her first home. Stripped of all her painted-lady features, she sat sadly on a corner lot in SE Portland waiting to be loved and cared for. She had a yard full of shopping carts, a tree that had grown through her facade, motor-oil soaked mattresses and a basement full of the neighbor’s missing car parts, and yet, in spite of this her husband Nate and Tracy bought and fixed her up. This renovation lead to the next house-love-affair, followed by another and another. It only made sense to apply this knowledge and the valuable lessons learned along the way to help others looking to buy or improve their own homes. Which brings me to why she became a REALTOR®. Tracy chose this job because she is passionate about houses and loves the chance to develop relationships with her clients. When you choose to work with Tracy, she will advocate for your best interests, guide you through the home buying process and protect you from the stressful moments as they inevitably arise. She will advise you every step of the way to enable you to make good decisions, stay centered and reach your goals. Even after your  transaction has come to an end, Tracy is still available to answer your questions and help with your home projects. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. Her hobbies include teaching her children, Lander and Olivia, about nature, hunting for sea creatures, spotting birds, drinking bourbon in the winter and gin in the summer, eating chocolate and traveling to warm destinations.
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