8 SECURITY TIPS WHEN SELLING A VACANT HOME
Listing and selling a home can be a stressful time, especially if you no longer live on the property. What makes selling a vacant home so much more stressful than an occupied home? Well, the unfortunate reality is that a vacant property is a vulnerable target for vandals and the chance of the home being broken into increases.
Below are a few simple safety tips to help protect your vacant home when selling:
1) Tell your neighbours you’re selling
Inform your neighbours and neighbourhood watch (if applicable) that you’re selling your vacant home. Ensure they have your contact details and ask them to make contact if there’s anything requiring your attention. You could also request that the real estate agent marketing the home checks in on it from time to time.
2) Check your home insurance policy
Don’t forget to reach out to your insurance company to find out how your coverage might change once you’ve left the property. You should also find out how long the policy will cover your vacant home. Some insurance companies may offer Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Coverage that protects your property once you’ve moved out.
3) Install a home security system
If the home doesn’t currently have a security system, install one. It’ll keep the home safer and may also increase its value. For many prospective homebuyers, security is a determining factor in their decision-making.
4) Secure all entrances of your home
Remember to do more than just lock your doors. Close the windows securely and bolt the glass sliding door. Pay attention to any area in the home that could be used to gain entrance. Take extra precautions by adding deadbolts to all the doors and installing wooden or metal sticks in sliding door tracks.
5) Use timed lighting on your vacant home
To further deter criminals, try motion-activated lights or set your lights on a timer so that they turn on during the evenings to give the appearance that someone is home. Ideally, there should be sufficient lighting for the interior and exterior of the home, as a poorly lit home allows criminals the opportunity to hide.
6) Stage the vacant home
Even though no one is currently living in the home, it doesn’t need to be empty. A bare home can seem less homely to potential buyers. Your agent should take photos of your home fully furnished, which would deter criminals who are scoping for targets online.
7) Don’t let your mailbox overflow
Ensure that you update your forwarding address or make regular visits to your home to pick up mail as an overflowing mailbox is a tell-tale sign of a vacant home. Alternatively, ask your neighbours, friends, or relatives to stop by the property occasionally to empty the mailbox.
8) Maintain the vacant home’s exterior
An overgrown lawn is another tell-tale sign that the home is not inhabited. Even though no one is currently living on the property, it stills needs to be regularly maintained. Not only will maintaining the home deter trespassers, but it’ll make the home more attractive to prospective buyers.
Don’t sell your vacant home alone
While selling an uninhabited home can be a daunting task, using the above tips will help to ensure that the process is as hassle-free as possible. Using an experienced real estate professional from a reputable brand will also expedite the process and ensure a quick and seamless sale.