Selling a vacant house is a lot different from selling one that is already occupied. In fact, if you have a house that is vacant and want to sell it, you need to consider some things first. You must make sure that you are aware of the challenges especially if you are looking to sell it fast. So are the things that you need to take note of and what needs to be done? Here’s what you need to know.
Reasons Why a House Becomes Vacant
There are a number of reasons as to why a house becomes vacant. Some houses could be vacant for days, months and even years but the most important thing to do is to find the best tenant for the property. If you are a homeowner who needs to sell a vacant house, you must understand that the longer the house sits vacant, the more problems you could face. As time rolls, vacant homes can experience wear and tear due to natural calamities and even vandals so it is best to sell it as soon as you possibly can.
But what makes a house vacant? Here are some of the most common reasons why:
- The owner has purchased a new home and has relocated – this is perhaps one of the most common reasons why a house becomes vacant. Owners have bought a new home and moved out of the area or they have another property that they want to live in thus the current house remains vacant.
- Rental homes and tenants have been evicted – sellers who have a rental property and wish to sell it after the tenants have lefts is another good reason for a house to be vacant.
- It’s a newly constructed property – new houses are usually empty to begin with and selling it is a good idea.
- The homeowner has passed away – either the house is an inherited one or going through probate, a house whose owner have passed away is often empty or vacant and therefore must be sold.
2 Problems of Having a Vacant House
A house that has been sitting vacant for a couple of months can pose a tantamount of problems to the homeowner. And if the house stays vacant for a longer time, these problems can exacerbate in the long run and the homeowner may have a bad time fixing it. Here are a few problems that a vacant house encounters:
- It’s a haven for criminals – one of the most common problems that a homeowner might experience is that their vacant house can be used as a hub for illegal activities. An empty house will often attract vandals and homeless people who will take advantage of the property given that it’s already empty. Junkies who are looking for a place to score can also use a vacant house to get high or even do drug dealings. This could be a big problem for the homeowner. Not only will the value of your house decreases but you will also need to redo everything in case items are broken or vandalized. It is basically waste of time and a lot of money on your part too.
- Requires more maintenance and repairs – a house that has been empty for some time is exposed to many issues. One of which is keeping up with the maintenance and repairs. Broken things can add up and will cost the homeowner a lot of money. It is also exposed to fires, water damages, molds and natural disasters. Keep in mind that a small leakage of water can lead to broken pipes, faucets and a whole lot of mess that could cause you thousands if not repaired right away. Growth of molds can also lead to a condemned house which is why it is important to make sure that your vacant house is in good shape before selling it.
Helpful Tips for Selling a Vacant House Quick
A vacant house once placed in the real estate market usually look alike but with a few tricks, you can easily sell your house faster than the rest. Here’s what you need to do:
Stage your vacant house – while this may sound too much work, it’s not. Yes, staging a house can be expensive but it could attract more buyers and you can increase your selling price. Keep in mind that you want to make the buyer picture themselves living in your house, so you might as well as decors that define each space in the house. Make your vacant house look like a potential house to live in and not just a vacant building.
High quality pictures are a must – adding pictures to your listing is a good idea but don’t just post any picture. Take pictures of your home in high quality; if you have a good camera to use great but if you don’t have the skills to take quality and inviting pictures then hire a pro. Professional photographers will not only help get good photos but can also help stage your house as to which angle looks great for people to see. Now that is a win!
Leave the utilities running – utilities that are kept on will keep the house up and running. Make sure to have running electricity and water in the house t as this prevents you further repairs in the future. Preparing your vacant house for winter or any other season is also important. Just because it’s empty doesn’t mean that you have to neglect it. Keep in mind that a house with no water or electricity will have lower offers than others. So make sure that your vacant house has it if you wish to sell your house faster.
Keep it secured – as I have mentioned earlier, a vacant house is a hub for many outsiders. You don’t want your vacant home to be vandalized or destroyed, right? So what you need to do is to make sure that the house is secured. Keep the doors and windows locked, closed and with proper padlocks. The last thing you want to happen is to find out that squatters are living in your property or it has been defaced by people who had nothing else to do. This could not only destroy your property but also decreases your house value and could even be a legal problem in the future.
Repairs and fixes – make sure to repair any broken things in your home. It could be a faucet, sink, doors, windows etc. This could potentially add value to your home and if there are any major repairs, you need to disclose them to any potential buyer. Transparency is always a good thing.
How to Sell Your Vacant House
Selling a vacant home is very possible. Of course, you have to know how to do this and if this is your first time to do so, you need help to do that.
- A real estate agent is the best person to talk to when it comes to selling a vacant house especially if you need cash. Agents can give you a good idea as to how much your house will sell in the open market by comparing it to other house listings. They can also help you with the find the right buyer, fill you in with the process as well as do the negotiations on your behalf. The only thing you might not like is that this could take time depending on the condition of your house and where it is located. You must also pay your real estate agent and the buyer’s agent which is usually around 6% of the sale.
- If you don’t have plans of getting a real estate agent, you can also sell it on your own or as For Sale By Owner. The only downside to this is that you will the one responsible for all the processing, paperwork and negotiations. You must also schedule the showing of your house and tour visitors on your own. This might sound like a huge task but at least you don’t need to pay real estate agents too much.
- You can also sell to an investor or companies that buy houses. This is by far a quick process when it comes to selling your home since it can only take a few weeks. However, the downside to this is that these companies will not pay full market value for the house and they will only buy a vacant house if they know that they can profit from it. On the other hand if you are in need of cash, this is the quickest way to go.
Selling a vacant home is not a problem as it can be done easily. The only thing you need to decide on is whether to move on with the sale or not and once you have decided, everything else will follow.