Selling a Vacant Home

Susie Shortsleeve, a realtor for Century 21 Real Estate-Shawmut Properties, for gives tips on how to sell an empty home!

Selling a vacant home is not an ideal situation and can be quite challenging, but that does not mean sellers are doomed to get low-ball offers from potential buyers, a common occurrence for homes that are unoccupied. If the home is staged properly, it can be sold just as quickly as a home that is currently lived in. 

It is important to remember that potential buyers want to buy a home, not a house. This means that they need to be able to envision themselves living there. This can be done easily by selling the dream through strategic staging. 

First impressions are crucial when looking at a home. People decide within the first 30 seconds if they like a home or not. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain curb appeal on a vacant house. Property values decrease if the grass is overgrown, dry, or bombarded with leaves. Before vacating the house, hire a neighborhood teenager or landscaper to mow and water the lawn, as well as rake any leaves away. Additionally, if the home will require ongoing maintenance, reach out to your realtor who will have a list of reliable vendors who can help. 

Setting up interior and exterior lights on timers and leaving up window dressings are also a good way to give the appearance that the house is lived in. Having mail and packages picked up keep the house from looking abandoned. 

In order to create a strong emotional response and personal connection between the potential buyer and the home, it is important for the home to feel warm and inviting. Moderating temperatures within the home throughout the seasons can do this. Replace the batteries in smoke detectors to avoid beeping signals, which may be viewed as a sign of neglect.   

An empty house will cause potential buyers to focus on negative aspects such as cracks in walls or chips in paint. Empty rooms also feel smaller than furnished rooms, so by adding furniture that is proportionate to the room's size, buyers will be able to get a better sense of the room. Simple items such as a shower curtain or towel in the bathroom, a bowl of fake fruit on the kitchen counter, or an area rug will make the home feel defined and lived in. 

To enhance the aura of the house, get the carpets professionally cleaned before moving out and occasionally run the faucets, dishwasher, and toilets to eliminate any odors from the unused systems. 

Regardless of how long the house has been vacant, these small details will make a huge difference in the success of selling your home!  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Fredric Stavros December 19, 2012 at 07:03 AM
First impressions lasts, especially when it comes to selling. As a real estate agent, whether it is vacant or not, it is important to make the home look and feel inviting, appealing to all senses. I have encountered a number of families always on the move – moving from one state to another, or just from one street to another, and it is not about the house, but the feeling of being at home. My company specializes in selling the concept of home, and not just a house and we have successfully satisfied a number of clients who always come back to us. Of course, we also need to do our due diligence to ensure that the house is safe and in livable conditions. After all, impressions don’t last. These need to be reinforced. - http://www.davconrelo.com


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