So you’ve moved into your new home but still haven’t sold your former property. This can place an enormous amount of stress on top of an already stressful situation. So what should you do to ensure the safety and security of your vacant home that’s still on the market? Here are our 5 tips for selling a vacant home.
1) Give Local Law Enforcement a Heads Up
Be sure to call or stop by your local police station and notify them that your vacant home is for sale. Ask if they can keep an eye on your property. The majority of local law enforcement agencies will make note of your vacant home and often will make additional “drive-by’s” in your neighborhood. Be sure to give them your updated contact information as well as your realtor’s info in case of an emergency. Notifying the local police department will not only reduce the possibility of a problem, but it will give you peace of mind as well.
2) Let Your Neighbors Know
It’s a good idea to let your neighbors know if you are planning on selling your home while it’s vacant. Ask them to keep an eye on your home and notify authorities if they see anything suspicious. Many neighborhoods have watch groups or associations that can make your house a priority when checking the neighborhood. In addition to asking your neighbors to keep an eye on your vacant home, you may also want to ask them to gather any old newspapers, fliers etc. out of your driveway so the home doesn’t appear vacant. As ask your real estate agent if a neighbor can have access to your home and can periodically check inside.
3) Stage Your Home to Appear Occupied
Empty homes can give the impression of an easy target to potential criminals. Even though you’re not living in your home doesn’t mean that it has to be empty. You can leave behind some unnecessary furniture and decor items, or talk to your realtor about hiring a professional staging company. Not only will a staged home sell faster, it will deter would-be criminals and vandals. As an added measure of safety, set lights on a random light timer so it appears people are home at varying times of the day.
4) Install a Security System
If your home isn’t already equipped with a security system, it’s highly recommended that you invest in one. A security system can greatly reduce the probability of a break-in to a vacant home and give you peace of mind. If a security system is too expensive for you, a cheaper alternative is buying a security system sign or sticker for your window from a local hardware store. Giving the appearance of a security system can potentially deter criminals from entering your home.
5) Maintain Your Curb Appeal
Nothing says “vacant home” like an overgrown lawn and dead landscaping. Make sure when selling your vacant home that you have the grass cut and landscaping attended to. A home with well maintained curb appeal is a sign that the home is visited often enough to keep it well maintained. It will also boost the home’s desirability to potential buyers.