Property housesitters or vacant selling? Top tips

18 Feb, 2019

Property housesitters or vacant selling? Top tips

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Deciding on finding vacant property housesitters or vacant selling is a challenge some people face. The decision will depend on long term plans and investments. The dangers of leaving properties vacant for extended periods especially in Winter are well known. If you need to leave a property empty for whatever reason then you should consider your options and take action.

Vacant property housesitters

If you are planning on finding vacant property housesitters then sign up with a reputable housesitting network like HousesitMatch.com. Simple registration process and facility to post your advert to search for sitters will ensure your needs are met with applicants contacting you safely through the site.

property housesitters

Vacant property selling

Do you have a vacant property? Have you been thinking about selling that property? If you are selling your vacant property then here are some top tips about what not to do.

What Not to do if You Are Selling a Vacant House

When you are selling an empty house there is a lot to take into account as it is different from selling a house which is occupied. The key points to consider are:

– What are the reasons for the house being vacant?

– What dangers exist for vacant houses?

– What are the common mistakes when putting a vacant house up for sale?

– How can you sell a vacant house quickly?

What Are the Reasons for a House Being Vacant?

There are several reasons exist why a house may become vacant, especially when the homeowner is in the process of selling it. This situation can be avoided entirely through the considering of a variety of options, namely: the introduction of free checked property housesitters;  part exchanging a house.;making the property available for rental. Depending on the anticipated length of vacancy and any sale options in consideration each of these options may be appealing. In situations where the house is vacant, selling the house quickly is usually essential, however, there are a lot of circumstances that can hinder this. Examples of vacant properties include:

  • If the seller has already moved to another property and a buyer has not yet moved in or indeed secured – It can be hard to time the buying and selling of houses and the smooth transition between the two stages, especially in an unpredictable market, hence many home sellers move into their new property before they have sold their current one. Finding suitable property housesitters can solve this issue.
  • A new construction – Houses which are newly built will sometimes have time on the market as vacant properties before someone buys them.
  • A property which was being rented out becomes vacant without a new tenant moving in immediately – Landlords will often have brief periods of vacancy when a tenant moves out. This is often the case even when contracts are timed perfectly. Sometimes work needs to be carried out to the property between tenants, hence the property becomes vacant for a longer period.
property housesitters
Cold climates are a big danger for empty properties

What Dangers Exist for Vacant Houses?

Selling houses and ensuring a smooth transition to a new owner is essential, speed of transaction and the transition between inhabitants will minimise any liabilities and the dangers that exist when a property is vacant for too long. These liabilities include:

  • The threat of theft or vandalism – Trespassers are attracted to vacant properties and thieves will often be tempted by such homes especially if they are furnished. When the house is not supervised and inhabited it can become an easy target and damages can be as little as a few broken lights or as much as structural damage and removal of fixtures and fittings.
  • Squatting or Trespassing – Trespassing may be considered a worrying threat, however, squatting can be worse! Details on squatting are available below. The two things are quite different. Homeless people can be tempted by vacant houses especially in urban areas. A vacant property is seen as a place of shelter, of security, over time this situation can cause damage. The more time a squatter is in a property the more chance of a legal problem down the line. You can read more on squatting here.
  • Weather Issues – It only takes a short period of vacancy for a property to be affected by the inclement weather. Be sure to keep the electricity on and make sure you manage the thermostat despite your absence. Be especially careful that items are not left outside the house, if they are blown about in strong winds this may cause accidental damage to the property. Secure bins, BBQs and flower pots to avoid preventable damage. Property housesitters can manage the live situation for you in situ.
  • The neglect of regular maintenance – Most homeowners find that they carry out a minimal number of  ‘maintenance tasks’ on a daily basis. Small problems sometimes get worse with neglect, yet they are present so can handle the situation. When a home is without a resident such problems can quickly become a bigger, and undetected issues can become major problems. If the house has a large garden then maintaining a tidy garden in your absence is especially important not only for security but also for maintaining the good appearance and ensuring the appeal of the property in all seasons. Property housesitters can help achieve this if they are living on site.
property housesitters
Maintaining the garden is important to attract buyers
  • Damage from water or fire – Water damage is one of the biggest issues that can arise from neglect. When homeowners don’t care for small leaks or problems with air conditioning, mould can quickly set in. Frozen pipes in the Winter time are some of the biggest causes of insurance claims for unoccupied properties. Having someone resident means a person can act on your behalf to minimise or avoid any such damage. This is where installing vacant property housesitters becomes a no brainer, especially in colder climates in the Winter.

 

What Are the Common Mistakes When Putting a Vacant House Up For Sale?

To minimise your exposure to any problems or liability, try to sell a vacant house as soon as you can. If possible try to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Not Getting an Appraisal

When you can show potential buyers an appraisal of your property it gives you credibility as the seller and also reduces the time taken to negotiate the price. When a potential buyer sees an appraisal they will feel more confident about the price the property as it is listed, and understand the value of the asset and its features, it helps them evaluate what they are going to offer.

  • Not Including Repair Estimates

You need to get repair estimates for any serious damage, regardless of whether you plan to do the work yourself before selling or not. When selling the house it will give you room in your negotiations to show just how much you have either paid or how much the buyer will need to spend to rectify the problem.

  • Switching Off the Utilities

One of the biggest mistakes is leaving utilities off. Keeping them on will minimise any weather damage. Viewings of vacant properties without utilities working can give the buyer an impression that more repairs than are actually required. Keeping the heat and lights on will also make for a more comfortable viewing experience.

  • Not Disclosing Needed Repairs

If you have not carried out all needed repairs you still must disclose them. It is best practice and shows transparency in your dealings.  Moreover, you may be liable for any issues if you have not mentioned them prior to the sale, even if the sale is successful.

property sitters
Staging a house interior doesn’t have to be elaborate
  • Not Staging the House

Selling a vacant house tends to take longer than one that is still occupied, even with property housesitters, as people want to see a living home, not a house and if it is empty they are just seeing an empty shell which looks empty, unloved and unwanted. This means that a big impact can be made by keeping enough decor and furniture in place. As well as this, having the home staged ideally with housesitters resident and actively caring for the house means that potential buyers have a point of reference and can imagine what it will be like if they lived there.  More especially when the house looks occupied and furnished, however minimal the furniture and fixtures it has better protection from intruders.

  • Not Securing the House

Finally, be sure to secure the house to prevent problems arising from the weather, trespassers, criminals and so forth. Check locks, alarm systems and the visibility of access points to the property, especially at night. This is where property housesitters will be exceptionally useful as they can manage the security of the property and the presentation of the property in your absence.

property housesittters
Keeping the property free from abandoned rubbish is important

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LamiaW

LamiaW

Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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