Many home sellers must move before their former property is sold. Additionally, many houses are left vacant after the death of a family member before the house goes to probate. When properties are left vacant, the home faces additional risks.
Homes that are left vacant are at risk of becoming uninsured since many homeowners insurance companies won’t insure a home that’s been vacant. Vacant houses usually lose insurance within 30 days, but there are some things you can do to keep the insurance. First of all, you can keep enough furniture in the unoccupied home so it doesn’t meet the definition of being “vacant.” Some people choose to rent furniture to meet this need. Another option is renting the house out month-to-month to keep it occupied.
Even if you succeed at keeping your home fully insured and avoiding the vacancy penalties, you still face increased risks to your home because it’s not occupied. For example, vandalism and broken glass are not covered by homeowners’ insurance.
Make sure to install a home security system. Additionally, stop mail and deliveries, or make sure the mail is taken care of regularly. It might also be a good idea to hire a sitter for the house, someone you trust, to regularly check the house.
Maintenance and Damages
Even losses covered by insurance could prevent the sale of the house. Before leaving the property unoccupied, make sure smoke detectors work. Install a sprinkler system for the lawn, or hire someone to regularly maintain the outside of the property. Maintain the home by cleaning the yard and gutters, trimming trees, checking for leaks, and preparing the house for winter and extreme weather.
Pests are another danger to vacant houses. For example, rotting wood attracts bugs such as termites.
Also, water can be one of the biggest dangers for a vacant home. Usually, water damage starts with a leaky roof. Water that leaks through the roof seeps into the walls, ruins paint and drywall and can even contribute to the deterioration of the foundation.
Sell Your Vacant House
If renting out your vacant property is not an option, and if you have been unable to sell your property, then give us a call to sell your home quickly. We can answer all your questions and give you a no obligation risk-free cash offer in 24 hours. If you are no longer here in the Greater Seattle area we can even go by the house and check on it for you!