Already Gone? 3 Tips for Selling Your Vacant Single Family Home

Getting an unexpected job offer with a higher salary is always good news, especially in today's volatile job market. But if the new job is located in another city or state, the decision to accept it can leave you facing some unexpected challenges, such as owning a home you no longer need. 

If you want to buy another home in the new location, the house you have left behind will need to be sold quickly to avoid the problem of trying to pay two home mortgages. Unfortunately, vacant homes can look less appealing than those that are occupied and take longer to sell. 

If you need to sell your single-family home, these tips are designed to help you overcome the challenges and get a faster sale.

1. Keep the utilities on

Those faced with moving and leaving their home vacant often disconnect utilities and winterize the home before they leave. Unfortunately, taking this action can leave the vacant home feeling cold, dark and unappealing when buyers come to view it. 

Homeowners should instead plan to leave the utilities on—keep the heat on if you're selling in winter and the air conditioning if you're selling in summer. To save money on the cost of heating and cooling the empty home, homeowners may want to program the thermostat to minimize heating and cooling costs during the hours when buyers are unlikely to visit. 

2. Invest in cleaning and lawn care services

It doesn't take long for signs of neglect to occur when a home is vacant. Within days or weeks, cobwebs and dust can begin to accumulate inside the home while outside leaves drift into messy piles and grass and hedges become overgrown. 

Buyers who view a home that looks neglected may assume it has been poorly maintained and either make a low offer or move on to another house. To avoid this problem, homeowners should consider scheduling periodic cleaning and lawn care services. 

3. Ensure that walls, ceilings, and flooring are in tiptop shape

Another issue that arises when selling a vacant single-family house is that every imperfection becomes easy to see. With the home already vacant, the sellers have an excellent opportunity to have the interior painted, carpets cleaned or new flooring installed. Buyers who visit a vacant home that is freshly painted with spotless carpets or new flooring are more likely to be impressed with the "move-in-ready" feeling.  

To learn even more tips for selling your vacant single-family home, work closely with a successful real estate listing agent in the area where the home is located.