Depending on the area that your trying to sell your house in it could take quite a while to for the home to be sold. Some people have no choice but to re locate to their new home and leave their original home vacant.
If this is a situation you are facing there can be some risks in doing this. One of the largest risks is that once your homeowners insurance discovers that your property is vacant (you will typically get a 60 day period) they may drop coverage on the vacant home. It is very difficult to obtain a vacant insurance policy and if you are able to find one it will be expensive.
Below you’ll find 3 of the main risks with a vacant property and ways to reduce the risk.
If you are not able to inspect your property regularly small things can go unnoticed and turn into really big issues in a short period of time. One of the biggest factors is water infiltration and mold issues. If these go unnoticed for any period of time they can get out of control quickly and are very expensive to re mediate. Be sure to have someone stop by the property and inspect areas like the attic, roof, and gutters. look for any signs of water infiltration.
Another good idea would be installing smoke alarms that are tied to a centrally monitored control station that can notify the fire department if there is any smoke detected. Don’t forget to continue to perform regular maintenance like cleaning out the gutters and removing debris that have built up around the house foundation.
Break Ins, Squatters and Vandalism
This type of damage can happen suddenly if someone decides to break in and cause damage to the property. Typically it will be kids looking to see if there are any valuables in side but there are times when they can do major damage to the property. Removing copper pipes and appliances is not un common in some situations. At times they may use the property as a hang out to throw parties. there is always the possiblity of this causing the house to catch fire.
To help keep trespassers away one of the best things to do is to give the illustion that the property is occupied. You can do this by making sure that the landscaping is maintained, the lights are on different times in different rooms and not letting your junk mail collect at the property.
Also let your closest neighbors know that that your property is going to be vacant so they can keep an eye out for unusual behavior. .
Liability on a vacant house can be a high risk. Make sure to limit your liability as much as possible by not having any know n hazards at the property to anyone visiting the home. If there are any known hazards such as cracked or raised sidewalks, broken railings or loose tree limbs make sure to fix them before leaving the house vacant.
Simple Ideas To Reduce Loss
Although there are alot of risks with a vacant property the good news is there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your potential loss. You can turn your property into a rental and rent it out short term or long term depending on your situation. You can also allow a friend or family member to live there for free while you are selling the property this way they can look after the property for you. You could also pay someone to check on the property weekly for you to make sure there are no issues and to give the appearance that the property in not vacant.
Another option is to sell the house to a professional home buying company. These companies buy houses as is for cash and can typically close within 10 days. This may be a great option if you do not want to deal with the risk involved with a vacant property.