Take Advantage Of These Proven Tips That Will Help You Sell Your Vacant Home
So you’ve finally upgraded to your “Dream Home”, but your last house is now sitting vacant on the market, while you’re waiting for it to sell. Now, you’re filled with anxiety when thinking about the reality of having to carry two home mortgages, along with property taxes, insurance and any other current bills that you’ll be responsible for while owning multiple homes.
Stressful right? Believe me, I know the feeling.
The example above is just one of reasons that a home may be vacant. Other reasons that a home may be vacate could include a rental property that is being sold, the house is new construction, or the owner of the house has suddenly passed away, and now the property is an estate sale.
More times than not, vacant homes are for sell, if the home hasn’t been abandoned. If you have a vacant home that you need to sell, than this blog post is for you! We will cover everything you need to know about selling a vacant house, and educate you on the options that you have when selling an empty home.
Let’s jump right in…
Insurance On A Vacant Home
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make, is leaving their vacant house uninsured. If you plan on leaving your home empty for more than 30 days, it is a good idea to obtain home insurance on the property. Vacant home insurance is designed to provide protection on damage or loss on a house that is unoccupied. Typical homeowners insurance will not provide any protection from fire, water damage, criminal activity or any other type of loss on a vacant property.
Before you leave your home, contact your insurance company, and make them aware of your plans to be away from your home. Often times you can purchase a vacant home policy insurance separately or as an add on. Your company insurance representative should be able to give you more information about this and help you choose the product that’s best for you.
Maintaining The Vacant Home
A home that is left for a long period of time, is likely to run into some problems. Whether the problems are with the interior or exterior of the home, you want to make sure you stay on top of the condition of the house while you are away.
When managing the interior of the home, here are some things that you want to keep an eye on, and attend to.
If the house hasn’t been winterized, and is in a climate where the winters tend to be harsh, the home is very susceptible to leaks and frozen pipes throughout the home. If you have to be away, make sure you take the necessary steps to winterize your home for the winter months.
Insulating your pipes, fixing exterior cracks in the walls of your home, and insulating crawl spaces in your basement, windows, and garage doors are also helpful when winterizing your home’s plumbing.
In addition to winterizing the house, there are also monthly tasks that you can complete to help your plumbing to continue work properly. Check all plumbing fixtures and pipes for proper drainage and leaks, and flush all toilets to keep the pipes from drying up.
Make sure to check all electrical outlets and switches to make sure that they are working properly. Also, check all smoke alarms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. When dealing with detectors, it is advised to replace the batteries every 6 months. A great indication that the batteries need to be replaced in your detectors is when you start hearing a constant beeping sound. Laat but not least, be sure to check all appliances by turning them off and on to ensure that they’re working properly.
I know that this may not make sense now, but keep the utilities on. Let us explain..By doing this, you can keep the house at a reasonable temperature. This is really important if you have an agent showing the house to prospective buyers. Nothing will derail the showing your house more than uncomfortable temperatures in the home, especially in the winter and summer months of the year.
The hearing, ventilation, and air conditioning unit is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. With that being said, taking care of it when your home is sitting vacant, is extremely important. Check your HVAC system and replace the filters every 3 months, even if you aren’t living on the property. Changing out the filters regularly will improve your HVAC’s overall performance and will prolong the life span of your household appliances.
Check the roof of your home, check all windows, and doors to make sure that the locks are working properly. Weather can play a huge part on the condition on the exterior of your home, so check on the house after any inclement weather, and make any necessary repairs.
It is a good idea to ensure that the curb appeal of your home remains attractive at all times. Plan, or set up a schedule with a landscaping company to have your lawn mowed, shrubs trimmed, weeds pulled regularly, loose limbs picked up, and gutters cleaned out .Also, if you continue to get mail, or any type of deliveries to your home, ask a neighbor, friend or relative to clean out your mailbox, and pick up any packages that have been left at your door.
Securing The Vacant Home
One of the first things to do to secure your property is to notify trusted neighbors, and let them know that that nobody will be at the property for an extended period of time. Your neighbors can watch over the house, and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
Before you leave, make sure you secure all entrances to your home. Check all doors, windows, basement entries, and the garage if you have one.
It would even be a good a idea to take extra measures and install deadbolt locks to all doors, and install a security system in the home. Also consider getting interior and exterior lights that are set up on timers, to keep the property well lit while it’s unoccupied.
Today’s amazing technology has brought really cool security systems to the retail stores for homeowners to take advantage of. Whether you just want an old fashioned security system to protect your home or if you are a “techie” and you want to visit your local Best Buy to take your security measures to the next level, the more obstacles you put into a criminals way to entry, the less likely they are to spend the time needed to break into the property.
Staging The Vacant Home
If you’re selling the home, or if you’re just away for an extended period of time, staging the home can be very beneficial.
If you are selling, then staging your home is a great option. Staging the home to sell, will help buyers see themselves living in the house. Once you depersonalize the space, and detach emotionally, you are giving the buyers the opportunity to make a personal connection to the space. Staging can also give the impression of a well maintained home, which can increase the chances of a sale taking place.
Staging can also deter crime. Criminals often behave like potential buyers and look online for homes that appear vacant, and that are for sale. A house staged with furniture may make thieves think twice about visiting the property.
Ways That You Can Sell A Vacant Home
There several ways to sell a vacant home, if this is what you’re looking to do. You can hire a local real estate agent and list your house on the open market, you can sell your house by yourself, which is also known as For Sale By Owner, or you can sell to a your empty DMV house fast to a home buying company like Fit Guy Buys Houses.
If you want to sell your house without a realtor to avoid paying agent fees and commissions, or if you don’t have the time, patience and resources available to sell the house by yourself, then selling to Fit Guy Buys Houses may be the option for you.
We buy house in Maryland, DC and Vriginia, and can help you get rid of the empty house that you no longer want. Sell your house for cash in the DMV by telling us a little more about the property, or by giving us a call at 202-670-9786.