Homeowners who have recently put their home up for sale soon realize that it can be a stressful time. This process seems to take longer and longer, adding to the anxiety felt by home sellers. Although this might not seem like the best time to add on to your 'to do' list, there is one crucial step that you must take when selling your home, and that is protecting your home and yourself from crime.

Many homeowners don't think about it, but when you put your house on the market, it means that your home's details will become publicized through real estate ads. This release of personal information can put you in danger, as well as making home security a top priority during this time. If you are listing your home for sale, avoid posting a virtual tour or extensive home photos. Although such information might be helpful to potential buyers, it can also help criminals scope out your home and your belongings in preparation for a break-in.

Open houses, though common in the real estate market, pose another security risk. Dozens of strangers will be walking through the home. Always get their contact information before letting them inside, and if possible, institute a screening process for potential buyers. Whether you've listed your home For Sale By Owner or are working with a realtor, you must face these concerns to minimize the danger posed by selling a house.

As an alternative to the open house format, many home sellers are choosing to offer appointment-only viewing. This minimizes the number of people allowed inside at any one time. As a result, you can keep an eye on them better. Escort potential buyers by following them, rather than leading them throughout the home, so that you don't get trapped inside a small room such as a bathroom. Pepper spray pens and similar devices are a particularly important purchase for those who plan to show their home by themselves.

Whether you are hosting open houses or showing the home to one or two prospects at a time, remove all valuable belongings from the home for the duration of the sale process. Even if you think you'll be able to keep an eye on everyone who enters the home during an open house event, this ensures that nothing will get stolen. If they cannot be removed beforehand, install security cameras and other devices nearby to deter theft.

There are additional dangers posed by vacating the home before it has been sold, although this may become a necessity during the sale process. While unoccupied, your house is at a higher risk of burglary, especially if you have left some possessions inside the home during this time. Even a completely empty house is not immune from this possibility. Even when you're not living there, it is your responsibility to protect your home. Install door and window alarms and other security devices around and inside the home. Many home sellers opt for portable alarms and other wireless devices that can be uninstalled once the house sells.