Selling your home has challenges when everything is handled by real estate agents, but throw in a special circumstance, and things can feel a little hairy. The timing for moves can’t always be perfect; you might find a perfect fit for your next home before you sell the home you own now. Selling your home when you’re not in it can make some people anxious, but it’s also important to do everything that you can to protect your home. Think about it: while your home is empty, there’s no one around to watch the goings on on your property. Selling a vacant house can be a stressful experience, or it can be easier when you have the help of a real estate company.
Reasons a House Could Be Empty
How would a home become vacant? We’ve all seen unoccupied or even abandoned properties, but each has their own story. In many cases, it’s just as mentioned above: a move must happen before the seller receives a reasonable offer. Empty properties in Las Vegas are sometimes rental homes where the tenant has moved out, and another one has yet to move in. This can happen in apartments, houses, condos, or any dwelling. It’s not unusual for a building manager to be unable to find suitable tenants, but this is stressful for landlords that don’t want property sitting vacant, without profit from tenants, and vulnerable to environmental dangers. A house could also be empty due to foreclosure, mold, or because it’s a new construction patiently waiting for its buyer. Properties can face quite a few threats to its appeal to prospective buyers when left alone, and each of the risks could cost you, the owner, money.
Secure Your Home from Squatters
Deep as your empathy may run for those less fortunate than you, it’s important to realize that people looking for a place to sleep may choose your vacant property. Squatters are typically homeless individuals, or even homeless families. Laws around what constitutes squatting can vary from state to state, but the term is generally applied to any party that unlawfully moves into a property – that is, without signing any paperwork. To make things more difficult for homeowners and law enforcement, laws protecting squatters can make getting rid of them a difficult and lengthy process. Squatters can even submit a formal request through courts to be accepted as a tenant – good for the person in question, as they need a place to live, but trying for the homeowner that needs the proceeds from the sale to move on with their lives. Ensuring a secure home, including locking all windows, doors, and gates, is the best way to stay out of a compromising situation with a person in need.
Protecting Your Home from Theft
Just as unwelcome guests may actually move into your home, claiming it for their sleeping space, thieves can come into your house, looking for anything that might be valuable. What motivates a thief can be something as seemingly innocuous as a lawnmower, or other gardening tools. Staged homes can be vulnerable to hungry thieves, as staged homes may look as well-furnished as they are unoccupied.
Staging Your Home
Not staging your home could be as big a mistake as failing to properly secure your home while it’s empty. While pictures of your home as it comes will provide an accurate representation of what you’re offering, staging your Vegas home will make your home look cozy and appealing. A staging company will apply minimalist and contemporary decor for potential buyers to have a sense of what may be possible if they make an offer on your home. While it is possible for you to stage your home yourself, it is a better idea to hire a staging company. While this can also make your home more appealing to prowlers, proper security should prevent most thieves from accessing your staged home.
With so much going on in your hunt for a new home, and in trying to sell your present home, you might forget to make sure that your home has been properly insulted for the time of year that it’s unoccupied. Keeping your home free of squatters and inaccessible to thieves is just half the battle: another part of the challenge is keeping up your home’s maintenance when you’re away. Be mindful of the weather when your home is unoccupied. Have someone inspect your home after major storms, and if fires have broken out in the area of your home. Fire damage can be devastating to the property, and take weeks to repair, but water damage is often unseen. The problem with water damage is that it creates mold by seeping into dark, warm places in your empty Vegas home. Mold can grow most anywhere, but that is an ideal environment. Some molds can cause deadly sickness, putting potential buyers’ health at risk, and put you at risk for a lawsuit.
Water, Electric, Air, Gas
Not keeping the utilities on your unoccupied home is a mistake. Potential buyers want to be able to see the home as a home – not as a shell. Though it may not seem like an important step, keeping the pipes and circuits active in your unoccupied home is good for the home’s overall maintenance. Stepping into a hot home during summer or a cold house during winter doesn’t appeal to potential buyers, and anyone who steps into your home should be able to get a drink of water. Creating an inviting environment happens with staging, but making anyone want to stay depends on your utilities. In the future, it’s possible that wi-fi, too, will need to be on and accessible.
How to Sell a Vacant Home in Las Vegas
As a homeowner, you’ll certainly have questions and concerns about what will happen to your property if you have to move away before you sell your home. The process of selling your home can go on if you’re not there. As mentioned before, consulting with the local real estate agent will be your best bet to make sure that the sale of your home goes smoothly, wherever you happen to be.