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  • Writer's pictureDaniel sisto

The 10 Tips For Selling Your Vacant House & Your Options

Vacant House Syracuse NY

There are several different situations that can occur that can cause your property to become "vacant", causing you to sell in a situation that calls for some urgency.

The typical situation, would be you are moving into a new house but you are having a hard time selling your previous property, causing your property to become vacant for a period of time. However, there are several other circumstances that could cause you to gain control of property in a vacant state, such as;

  • Inherited Property

  • Tenants Moving Out, Leaving Property in Bad Condition

  • Divorce

  • Job Relocation

  • And More

The reality with real estate is that often times, home transactions are rocky. We have to try to manage and prepare for the worst possible scenarios so we can avoid some of the expected hurdles.

I want to touch on some tips for selling your vacant house and also some of the options that you may have when deciding to sell a vacant house.

If your home does become vacant, you will now have a property with an urgency behind the sale. This is because while the property sits vacant, you will be incurring holding costs, such as:

  • Taxes

  • Insurance

  • Mortgage Payments

  • Maintenance

While also increasing your odds of vandalism or theft.

If the property is show noticeable signs of vacancy, such as:

  • High Grass

  • Mail Overflow

  • Deferred Maintenance

  • Code Violations

  • No Cars

We have to take extra precautions to avoid costly damages to the property while it is vacant before a sale.

3 Options To Sell Your Vacant Home

Each homeowner who finds themselves with a vacant house in Syracuse NY has a different reason for being in that situation. Each situation will determine which option will be the best for that specific seller.

There are a couple different options you have to sell your home and each option works depending on your situation.

This will be similiar to your typical home sale. You will interview & hire an agent and let them control the sale of your home. If you have just purchased a home and need to sell your prior home (if in good condition) this will probably be your best route. Just be aware that this option can take longer to sell your home, requires open houses which increasing your odds of vandalism and such. Just make sure you take the proper precautions to minimize your risk in this area.

Another option you have is trying to sell this vacant house by yourself. If you are familiar with the process of selling real estate and understand how to market, show and organize a sale, this option may be for you. This is a more complicated process but could possibly save you some commission money if you are able to obtain the same sales price as listing with an agent. Depending on your knowledge of the industry will determine if this option is right for you.

Real estate investors offer unique terms and benefits that other buyers do not. Some of these terms could be what you are looking for, such as:

  • Need to sell fast

  • Cash offers

  • Distressed property

  • Property needs a lot of repairs

  • Hassle free sale

  • No real estate agents

  • No open houses

  • And more

These real estate investors will be looking for a discount on the sale of the property but will be able to solve your problem of a fast sale. You will not have to pay any commissions, closing costs or repair costs and will not have to deal with your property sitting for long periods of time. This will minimize the chances of your home being damaged or vandalized as well as limit the holding costs you will incur when selling to a bank financed buyer.

Tips & Precautions When Selling Your Vacant House

When it comes to selling your vacant house in Syracuse NY, there are certain things you need to do to ensure your investment.

1) Maintain The Curb Appeal

No matter if you are selling an occupied home or a vacant home, maintaining the curb appeal will give a great first impression to anybody looking to buy your home. If your property is vacant, it is more common to forget about mowing your lawn, trimming bushes or keeping your exterior clean. This will also minimize your risk of break ins because your property will not give the imagery of a vacant house.

2) Alert the Local Law Enforcement

As a homeowner it is our obligation to pay taxes to help cover salaries of local government departments and employees. If you plan on selling your property and are under the impression that it may be or become vacant, then contact your local authorities to have the keep an eye on it for you and make them aware that the property is vacant. This quick phone call could drastically reduce the odds of any criminal activity around your home.

3) Get in Touch With The Neighbors

Making your neighbors aware that the home is going to be vacant is also a smart move. This will allow them to keep an eye on your property for you at all times. If there is any criminal activity that happens to your property, they will be able to report these actions to the police promptly. You could also ask one of your good neighbor friends to check the interior of the home a couple times a week to make sure the interior of the property was not vandalized.

4) Take Photos of The Property

Take interior and exterior photos of the property right before the property becomes vacant. This will be helpful for several reasons. You will have photos for your listing or to show anybody who is interested in purchasing your home. You will also have clear cut evidence if any damage were to happen to your property. So take some detailed photos of your home to protect yourself from any criminal activity.

5) Stage the Home

If you are in a good financial position and want to increase your odds of a sale using the traditional sales option, then consider staging your home. This will give the look and feel of an occupied property while the home is vacant. It is easier for home buyers to visualize the space if their is furniture in the home. Also if you are listing your property on sites such as zillow & trulia, your home will not look empty. Believe it or not some folks check these sites for empty homes to use as targets.

6) Think Twice About Open Houses

If you do decide to sell with traditional means, your real estate agent will want to hold an open house. An open house is a public even that is held at the property which allows people to walk inside and outside of your property. Now if your property is vacant, holding an open house can possibly expose you to criminals plotting on your home. People use open houses to figure out the easiest and quickest ways to gain access to your property and break in.

7) Keep Some Lights On

This is another simple precaution that you can take to help give your home the feel that there is someone actually living in the property. It is suggested that when selling a vacant home that you keep some interior and exterior lights on. There are very cheap light timers that you can purchase at any local hardware store so that your lights are not on during the day. Once the sun goes down it is highly recommended to leave a couple lights on to give the impression your home is occupied.

8) Check Your insurance

One of the first items you should check off your list is taking a look at your current insurance coverage. If your coverage does change once the property becomes vacant, you should get in touch with your insurance agent and see if you could increase your coverage you are not as exposed when you move out.

9) Discontinue Mail Services

One way that people can tell if your home is vacant is an over abundance of mail coming out of your mailbox. So get in touch with your local post office and local newspaper company and explain to them that you are changing addresses. If you are in a difficult situation and do not have a new address, just cancel the mail services all together.

10) Check the Thermostat

When selling a vacant home their are several reasons that you should not discontinue the utilities. We do understand that this is going to be an extra cost, but is a much smaller cost than having your pipes freeze.

Another reason that you should consider keeping the temperature feasible is for showings. If you are walking people through your house, you do not want them in extremely hot or cold conditions. This will give them a bad feeling right from the start.

In Closing

As you know, owning a property that is vacant can be a major concern and hindrance on your life. There are several different options to sell your vacant house, you just have to make sure the one you choose fits your goals. The majority of vacant properties do not endure criminal activity but just to make sure nothing happens we recommend taking these precautions in an attempt to eliminate the risk.

If you have a vacant house that you are trying to sell, let us know what precautions you are taking, what selling option you chose or if you have any extra tips from your experience. Leave us a comment below

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