Are you the owner of a vacant house? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
There are lots of scenarios where people acquire vacant homes.
In many cases, the timing of buying a new home and selling your old one doesn’t line up, and you’re left with a sale to make after the stress of moving.
Sometimes, this is due to an unexpected event, like a job transfer or divorce.
If you’re a landlord, perhaps you’re struggling to find tenants for those vacant rental properties, or you’re ready to offload and gain capital for a new investment.
Whatever the case may be, you’re just ready to get it over with. And your gut is right!
Abandoned homes are expensive. Without regular maintenance, they fall into disrepair, and without occupants, they attract thieves and squatters. Not to mention the city citations that can accumulate from long grass or other code violations.
Quickly selling a vacant house will save you money! Maintaining your property value will require several steps to secure the home and keep it in good repair.
Vacant Houses Are Magnets For Trouble
Even if you don’t live there, you’ll still need to spend money on utilities, insurance, property taxes, and security systems. You’ll have to maintain the yard and clean the home regularly to keep it presentable for showings, which will require you to invest your own time or hire someone to do it for you.
Without a watchful eye, water damage is very common in vacant homes. Plumbing leaks or powerful storms create moisture damage that needs to be caught early and repaired quickly.
Properties that are obviously uninhabited have a tendency to attract unwanted visitors. Thieves will note the vacancy and drop by to see if there’s anything valuable left behind. Squatters might decide your house looks like a beautiful place to move in. This can result in broken windows or doors and damage to the home’s interior.
A Vacant House Will Cost You
It seems counterintuitive, but you really do have to spend money to make money, and in the instance of an unoccupied property, this couldn’t be more true. It’s a necessary evil if you’ve got an empty home to sell, and want to do it for the best possible price.
Securing the Property
First, you’ll need to secure the property. Call your local police department to let them know you’ve moved, and ask them to help you keep an eye on things. Most departments will be happy to make regular drive-bys.
Install a home security system and purchase 24-hour monitoring services. This is an investment in two ways: first, it increases a home’s property value, and second, it allows you to qualify for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance. Many systems can be controlled from your smartphone, which puts full access to your vacant house in the palm of your hand.
It’s common for thieves to strip the valuable copper out of AC units on abandoned homes. If you don’t secure your outside unit with a cage and padlock, you’ll run the risk of finding your HVAC system gutted.
Paying Your Dues
It might seem unfair, but financial and legal obligations stay in place even if you don’t occupy a home.
You’ll need to maintain your home insurance and continue to pay your mortgage and property taxes. This can be very difficult to juggle if you’ve already moved and have bills at your new residence.
It’s also wise to keep the utilities connected. Maintaining a moderate indoor temperature will help prevent mold from growing unchecked and keeps pipes from freezing. Air conditioning and heating also make the property comfortable when potential buyers come to call. Setting several lamps on a timer gives the impression of inhabitants.
Maintaining Curb Appeal
When it comes to selling a home, appearance is everything! Prospective buyers want to see a clean home nestled in a tidy yard, where they can visualize their future. This is the most labor intensive part of selling a vacant home.
If you can’t mow the yard yourself, or simply don’t want to, hire a landscaper to keep the lot in order. Landscaping makes the home more inviting to buyers and helps you avoid costly citations from the city for code violations.
Much like landscaping, if you can’t or won’t clean the property yourself, hire a cleaning service to drop by from time to time. Nobody wants to buy a dream home they have to spend a week scrubbing, and regular attention will help keep pests at bay.
Speaking of pests, you’ll also want to maintain your regular schedule of pest control services. If you don’t currently have an exterminator, do a little research and hire a company to treat your property. Abandoned homes quickly become safe havens for termites, roaches, and rats.
Realtors advise their clients to repaint and update an older home to make it more marketable. The same goes for abandoned properties. Focus on making the house inviting to its future tenants.
It’s a well-known fact that furnished homes sell more quickly than empty ones. Furnished homes give buyers a sense of space and purpose, allowing them to imagine where their belongings would go. If you can’t spare or borrow some furniture to give the property a little life, consider hiring a staging company to design and decorate the space.
Good News! We Can Help
The case for quickly selling a vacant house is clear! Managing two properties is stressful, especially if they aren’t in the same area. Between property taxes, the mortgage, and maintenance or cleaning, it can cost you a pretty penny to keep an empty home on the books.
If you’re worried about a solution, don’t be! Whitestone Acquisitions specializes in buying properties as-is, and we purchase homes in Dallas, Houston, and Cleveland.
Our expert team includes a licensed broker and licensed agents, with experienced support staff ready to guide you through our simple purchase process.
First, we’ll schedule a phone call to discuss your situation and plan a walk-through of the property with one of our field analysts. After the analyst delivers their appraisal, we’ll make our cash offer. If you accept, we’ll begin the title search and closing process on your home, which can take as little as ten days!