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Homes for Sale-Vacant or Abandoned?
It is happening across the nation. There are many, many homes that have been left vacant. Some are vacant due to an upcoming foreclosure.
What about the rest of them? What's their story?
The story varies, but ultimately, it turns out, through all the best efforts of Realtor and Seller, a home just didn't sell in its projected time period. The timing was off, the market was flat, the price was wrong, the condition wasn't up to snuff, or the location is just not desirable.
Whatever the reason, as the home owner, you ended up with these three choices:
1. Take the house off the market and postpone the move. Re-list at a later date, when the housing market is on the move again.
2. You live in the new place, your partner stays behind until it sells...and endure the additional stress that come with the separation of family.
3. You pack it in, move everything, (family, furnishings, cars and pets) you're out. Then you hold two mortgages while waiting for a buyer to come along.
As the homeowner, the option that worked best for you, was Choice #3.
Time has moved on and your new home is just swell. Things are a bit tight-no extra money- as it goes dutifully over to your vacant homes mortgage.
You start resenting the old house.
The new home is new, and it is receiving the love it deserves.
The furniture is placed, paintings are hung, kids are adjusting to the new school, and the neighbors are friendly. All seems to be going very well.
Let's revisit what is going on with the home you left.
The one that has no pictures on the wall, no furniture, no feeling of a home.
It is now the vacant home. What's going on with it?
Vacant homes become jaded. They figure out ways to get your attention.
Pipes mysteriously burst into the night, floor boards buckle, a strange smell comes through the home...and then the weather sets in to aid the house on its singular mission...to get you to pay attention to it!
A slow leak in the roof, loose shingle...the leaves are piling high, the spiders have found a new home, and even the neighborhood squirrels are nesting. It's just nuts!
* dark, dank, smelly
* a little grimy
* beeping CO detector (batteries dead)
* yard in dishevel
* the look of neglect
* a comfortable room temperature
* clean and shiny (Windex, Windex, Windex)
* a pleasant smell (air fresheners-nothing overwhelming)
* blinds, slightly tilted (letting a little sun shine in)
* a few pieces of furniture
* night lights placed strategically throughout the home
* yard remains groomed ( a service, a neighborhood kid)
The feel of a home once loved, that's a feeling the buyer gets when walking into a home that is still cared for.
It requires minor staging, but it requires care more than anything. The care will shine through.
In marketing your home, and in sales, how did the condition of these two homes come across in the eyes of the buyer?
They loved the vacant home, it showed well, it felt good to them. Loved.
The other house: it looked abandoned, it made them sad. They assumed it was a tainted house.
Frankly, if you don't care, why would a buyer?