Tips for selling vacant homes
There are always a number of vacant homes for sale in New Orleans. Some of them are sparkling clean and ready to move into. Others….not so much.
As we’ve been touring homes recently, we’ve seen some mistakes that sellers are making. If you are trying to sell a house that is empty, here are a few tips for selling vacant homes that might make that process a little easier and a little faster for you.
Keep all of the utilities on
Water, gas and electricity are not optional for a few reasons:
- When showing homes in the summer, we will be trekking through houses that have no power, no air conditioning and no chance at a buyer staying in the sweltering heat long enough to actually be able to picture themselves living in them.
- If your utilities are off for an extended period of time (6 months or more), the city or parish will require an inspection before turning them back on. If anything is not up to current code, you’ll have to make repairs or improvements before the power/water/gas can be restored.
- When an offer is received, one of the first things that buyers do is schedule inspections. Hint: we can’t inspect if you don’t have the utilities on, which will lead to delays in your closing.
Maintain the lawn and gardens
One of the big to-dos on everyone’s list before attempting to sell is making sure that your home has curb appeal. All of the work you put into doing that will be for naught if you move out and don’t make arrangements for someone to keep up with the grass and gardens. There are reasonable lawn care services that can also take care of pulling weeds, planting seasonal flowers and freshening up the mulch and borders.
Have the house cleaned periodically
Believe it or not, just because no one is living in a home doesn’t mean that it stays spotless. Even after you are gone, dust collects on window sills and baseboards, the air gets a little stale and toilets get rings from standing water. If your home has been vacant for over 60 days, it’s probably time to get someone in to do a clean up and freshen up.
Keep up with pool and pond maintenance
I’ve never seen a buyer say “Oh look…a big green pool. It’s perfect!”. Pools and ponds are wonderful features, but only if they are kept clean and functioning. If they are not, you will be adding to the days on market before you get an offer or setting yourself up for very low offers. Neither one is worth what you will save, and it will keep the neighbors from complaining about the mosquito breeding pits in your yard.
Staging homes is an option that more people should be exploring. A professional home stager can bring in a few key pieces of furniture and some accessories that showcase your home in it’s best light. Not to mention that a furnished home always photographs better than an empty one and it’s the photos that are drawing people in from the internet advertising.
When you are ready to make a move, we provide local, professional real estate services to buyers, sellers and military relocations to and from New Orleans. It would be our pleasure to assist you with all of your real estate needs. 504-327-5303