A question that many home sellers struggle with is whether they should sell their home when it is still occupied or when it is vacant.
There are many reasons to sell your home whilst you are still living in it, but then again, there are also many reasons why you should put it on the market when it is vacant.
As with everything involving real estate, there are pros and cons to all the choices you have and it is up to you to do the necessary research.
So, to quote the Clash: “Should you stay or should you go?“
Benefits of selling a home vacant
Many people believe that there aren’t many benefits to selling an empty home, but if you know how to work it, it can work for you:
- A homeowner won’t be interrupted during all hours of the day for house showings and this is left in the capable hands of your real estate agent. You won’t be required to walk around in the backyard as strange people go through your home.
- The chances that a real estate agent will show your home are increased. Agents usually take the path of least resistance. If they have 20 homes to show and 5 are vacant, they will opt for the vacant homes because they are the easiest to show.
- The seller isn’t under constant pressure to keep the home in immaculate condition at all times. With small children and pets, this is almost impossible to do. An empty home guarantees a stress-free showing.
However, there are also drawbacks to selling a vacant home:
- The seller might have to stage the home and incur additional expenses in order to do so. Buyers can’t really envision a space without furniture so with the help of a professional home stager furniture can be hired and added to highlight certain features of the house. But it’s going to cost you.
- A vacant home is also very cold and won’t appeal to the buyer’s emotional side. And many buyers make emotional decisions when they buy a home.
- You also run the risk of the home being vandalized. If no one is living there, then it is basically open to everyone. Vacant homes attract crime. If someone breaks into the house, then there will be further additional costs to repair a window that they might have broken, for example.
Benefits of selling an occupied home
There are then benefits of selling a home whilst you are still living in it:
- An occupied home shows better. Buyers will be able to see themselves living there and they can envision a purpose for each room. For instance, they won’t have to wonder whether the TV stand will fit in the living room.
- The homeowner will be present if emergencies should arise. Should a tap start leaking or the bathroom start flooding, the seller will be on call or even at home to assist.
- The buyer and the seller have the opportunity to meet each other. This is not to say that it should sway the decision of the sale, but it could help with some emotional encouragement if the two parties find they have things in common.
- No unnecessary utilities to pay. If your house is vacant, you still need to keep the utilities like water and lights activated – which means that you are still going to have to pay for it even though no one lives there.
In the end, the choice that you make can influence the success of the sale.
You now have the information – all you need to do is make the choice.