Now that you’ve put the “for sale” sign up on your Berks County home, it’s time to enter a new phase of your life.

Those for-sale signs mean something entirely different to potential intruders. In some cases, burglars target for-sale properties knowing that they are likely to be empty or relatively unattended.

When putting your house on the market, how do you keep it safe? There are some smart home security steps you can take.

1. Smart lights and floodlights

First and foremost, lights are your best defence against intruders. Burglars target properties with no one around and that don't look like they're occupied. This is why for-sale properties are so attractive in the first place.

Several smart lights placed strategically will allow you to control both the inside and outside lights remotely.

Smart lights also allow you to set schedules or even randomize lights-on-and-off patterns, so no matter where you are, it appears that someone is inside the house. Furthermore, smart lights can be set up in conjunction with other security devices, such as cameras.

What kind of smart lights should you install?

  • Purchase outdoor smart lighting that integrates with other home security products, like Arlo Security Lights or Ring Floodlights.
  • Use smart groundlights such as Calla Outdoor Pathway Lights or Ring Pathlights. If your property has a big yard, these can be very useful.
  • Set up indoor smart lights—like Philips Hue or Lifx—that let you control timers, schedules, and triggers through your phone. These are easy to install and replace your regular lightbulbs.

2. Outdoor security cameras

Cameras and lights work hand in hand in a security system. When your cameras spot an intruder, all your lights can turn on. This is possible if you buy lights and cameras that work together. Alternatively, you can have the cameras begin recording when the lights detect motion.

The best outdoor cameras are weatherproof and record in HD (1080p preferably, so you can zoom in and still see clearly). In addition to two-way audio cameras, you should have cameras that allow you to hear and speak to intruders directly through the camera.

What are some HD outdoor camera options?

  • Rugged wireless cameras like the Arlo Pro 2 let you put them practically anywhere without running wires or drilling holes through your wall.
  • Cameras that combine a camera with a smart light, like the Ring Spotlight Cam, give you the benefits of lights and cameras in one package.
  • Solar-powered cameras like the Reolink Argus 2 stay fully charged with minimal human effort.

3. A professionally monitored security system

The popularity of DIY home security systems is on the rise. In the case that no one lives in the property, you might be better off having the pros monitor the security system 24/7.

A professionally monitored security system means that if your system is activated, the company will call you to double-check it's not a false alarm, then send police to respond.

It is important to know that some companies require multi-year contracts. Choose a self-installed system that still offers professional monitoring.

What are some no-contract security systems with professional monitoring?

  • Scout Alarm integrates with both Z-Wave and Zigbee-based smart devices, so you can add in smart lights and cameras from other brands and use them all together.
  • Low-cost systems like SimpliSafe give you reliable security equipment and professional monitoring for a super reasonable price.
  • Nest Secure can be used as a self-monitored system but has the option to add in professional monitoring if you want it.
  • Abode offers temporary professional monitoring if you only need someone to watch your system for a short period of time, like a week.

The use of smart security systems, such as lights, cameras, and alarm systems, allows you to watch over your property while you're away. Use these smart tools to deter burglars, secure your property, and ensure your peace of mind.

Visit our blog every week for more real estate articles and local Berks County articles. We can help you find the perfect home for sale in Reading and the surrounding communities of Blandon, Boyertown, Douglassville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, and Oley with our powerful property search tool.