Seller Checklist When Leaving a Vacant Unsold House

Written by Debbie Reynolds

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, TN Broker

Seller Checklist When Leaving a Vacant Unsold House
Making sure that a house looks like a well-cared for home is important so as to attract buyers and get the best price and a quicker sale.
With expenses from the new and old home coming in, there is a tendency for sellers to want to scale back, to shut off utilities and delay lawn cutting services until it is absolutely necessary. This is not the time to scrimp and make your home look neglected or like it has been abandoned.
Consider these items when leaving your vacant unsold house:

1) Curb appeal will help get buyers in the door– Keep your lawn on a routine cutting rotation. It needs to look like someone is living there. Don’t forget the shrubs and trees limbs grow too and don’t let them get out of hand and overgrown looking.

2) It’s hot outside– Outside temperatures can be over 90 degrees and going into a hot house is a turnoff. If it is cool you will have buyers take time to look at the house instead of only thinking about how quickly they can get out of the hot house and back into a cool car. It is okay to turn the thermostat up a few degrees higher than normal. This will still feel cool to a buyer coming in from the outside.

3) Buyers need to be able to see the features–Even during the summer months a home without lights can be dark and not a pleasant showing experience. If the showing is in the evening hours without lights, an agent is wasting their time and a buyer cannot see whether they like the house or not.

4) Not having climate control is bad for your home– Sheetrock tape can pop, cracks appear, doors and trim separate, flooring can become unglued and lift. Keeping your air on helps protect your interior finishes.

5) No utilities makes a buyer think that you may be in a financial crisis–Having your utilities on will make the house feel like a home and have you ready for an offer, the home inspection and appraisal periods that do require utilities be on. It may even save you new deposits and connections fees. Turning utilties off can also strain the systems and cause problems with surges when they are turned back on. Just leave them on.

6) For plumbing fixtures– it is okay to turn the breakers to the off position on your water heater and turn water shutoffs off at sinks, etc. Nobody should be using these and a home inspector will know to turn them back on to check them out.

7) Keep blinds semi open– Closing blinds completely makes a home look unoccupied, dark when showing and may invite thieves or vandals.
8) Have a neighbor or friend keep an eye out– A neighbor doing a routine check every few days will help give you peace of mind. Your agent should help monitor the property as well.

9) Let your insurance and mortgage companies know you are moving– Make sure you have proper insurance coverage for your vacant home.

9) Touch up housecleaning–Showings produce foot traffic and dirt. Bugs die and counters, window seals and light fixtures may get dusty. Toilets get water rings. Arrange to have a light clean up to keep the house looking ready for buyers and smelling good.

Seller Checklist When Leaving a Vacant Unsold House.
By assuring that the house looks cared for and ready for buyers your home will be looked upon favorably by buyers and hopefully you will get an offer soon.


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This is a great Article to refer to when you are selling your home.

My Real Estate Expert LLC.