Wednesday, April 22, 2009

7 Tips to Avoid the Vacant Home Look

Selling a home that is vacant can be harder than selling a lived-in home, experts say. Here are some ideas from Pam and Dave Pettigrew, certified residential specialists with Prudential Rocky Mountain in Fort Collins, Colo., on what practitioners and sellers should consider to protect an empty property and get it sold.

Give the house a lived-in look.
Get a neighbor or family member to make the house look occupied by parking a car in the driveway, opening and closing the drapes and taking in any mail.

Groom the yard.
Use a lawn service during the summer to keep the grass cut and a snow removal service in the winter to scrape the walks and driveway.

No outstanding nicks.
Hide the effects of missing furniture. Paint and replace rugs so there are no faded spots or blemishes on the walls. Cover accent paint that alone looks odd.

Leave some furniture.
A few chairs, tables, lamps and beds (or empty mattress boxes with spreads) give buyers a sense of space.

Keep the utilities on.
Set the thermostat at a comfortable level during the winter and summer.

Hire a maid.
Make sure the home remains spotless.

Check the homeowner’s policy.
Understand the coverage when the home is vacant.

Source: Coloradoan, Pam and Dave Pettigrew (04/12/09)