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What you should know about selling a vacant home

March 19, 2008


 You’re selling your primary residence to move into another. The goal should be to sell the house as quickly as you can. and with good planning and the help of a good Realtor, you should be able to get a fair and reasonable price. 

Vacant rooms can look smaller than furnished rooms. This is because there is no furniture to provide perspective. Staging your home can make your unoccupied house seem as lived-in as possible. Leave behind a few pieces of furniture – some chairs, an end table, and lamps. Rather than giving an impression of austere living, it can make a room look simple and elegant. And it will help prospective buyers get a better idea of how well their furniture will fit the space or even go with the decor. Giving your vacant house a lived-in look also has other advantages, such as discouraging vandals, loiterers, or uninvited squatters. Make sure a few lamps are set on timers to go off and on at certain times of day. Keeping your lawn mowed and hedges trimmed is another way to lure buyers and shun unwelcome guests. 

First impressions are so important in real estate. So keep the front of your vacant home neat. Put on a fresh coat of paint if necessary. If you’re still in the area, stop by often to cut grass, pull weeds, rake leaves, sweep walks, shovel snow, and do routine yard maintenance. If your new home is too far away to make this practical, consider hiring a house-sitter, soliciting neighbors and friends to keep an eye on things, or using lawn and home-maintenance services. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend some viable options.   

Consider putting in motion sensor lights and an alarm system to protect your vacant house from unwelcome guests. Maintain your homeowner’s insurance for added protection. But check with your provider on the appropriate coverage – some insurance policies change dramatically when a home is vacated and your coverage may be very different, or even lapse. Don’t assume you are covered if the home is vacant just because you are paying premiums. Make sure all mail is forwarded and newspapers are stopped – piles of papers in the drive are a tell-tale sign no one is around. But limited time is all you’ll need with the right steps. After all, selling an empty house shouldn’t leave you with an empty feeling. 

new home executives

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 26, 2008 11:35 pm

    Great advice on staging vacant homes. I know from personal experience that when I walked through homes with friends shopping for a house, they never were drawn to any of the vacants or could even remember them after the visit. People always go back to homes that they can imagine themselves living in.

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