Surrey, British Columbia Canada (PressExposure) January 10, 2007 -- By Frank Fourchalk
We are becoming more aware of the dangers of the internet these days with articles of online predators hiding behind screen names, posing as imposters controlling their victims as if they were puppets on a string, sucking them into a "Web Of Deception."
Computers are used in the transmission of crime often in three capacities. They may be the target of the offense, the tool used in the offence or they may contain evidence of the offence. Everything from sex predators, e-mail scams, fraud and even burglary. Yes, even burglary enters into the equation with the possibility that burglars could target homes via the internet.
The real estate industry's version of armchair viewing, otherwise known as "Virtual Tours," could be giving the "bad guys" too much information. Too much information about your most important investment: your home.
Selling your home is stressful enough without the added stress of a break and enter.
Virtual tours are increasing in popularity as they give home buyers a real impression of the inside of the home and a vivid look at the outside surroundings. Some realtors may deny or play down the dangers of advertising your home on the internet; however, this concern affects not only home sellers but also home buyers whose future home may have been advertised on the internet.
Once a home has been exposed on the internet, particularly on "Virtual Tours," it could remain a risk for robbery for several months as information may have been downloaded and stored on a thief's computer.
Having a home available for anyone to inspect can represent a grave danger. The only people who should be allowed to inspect your home are those who have been identified and qualified. The Internet allows anybody who owns a computer and is hooked up to the web to take a tour through your home.
I don't want just anybody looking through my home, unless they are a genuine buyer accompanied by a realtor.
The safe procedure is quite simple. The homebuyer usually checks out an area before they buy a home. They visit with the real estate agent, who takes great care to ensure that only genuine buyers are allowed to inspect your home.
If you must advertise your home on the internet, make sure that you go over the details with your realtor very carefully. Details like removing precious items before the filming of the tour or having their computer professional remove them through a Photoshop software program after the segment has been filmed. It is very important as a home owner to view the video before it is displayed over the internet, checking for security deficiencies.
Meeting with your real estate representative and ironing out the details is crucial. After all, you are the person holding the strings when it comes to protecting your home.