This is a great little blog article I found recently on vacant listings. I thought It would be good to reblog this so others also could learn about this.
I've shown at least 3 vacant homes recently that clearly had not been checked on in a while … These were not foreclosures and not even short sales – just good ol’ regular sales, imagine that!
Do you check on your vacant listings?
My guess is the listing agents have not been back at these properties since placing the lock-box! I'm not talking about stopping by on a daily basis but occasionally is a must! Send your assistant, squeeze it in if you are in the neighborhood anyway or have some arrangement with your sellers. In my opinion it is your responsibility, too, to make sure the home is in an acceptable showing condition and SAFE to enter (unless defects are disclosed in the listing and caution is advised, then at least we know what to expect)!
#1: This home has been on the market for a loooong time, well over a year. It doesn’t really matter why but what matters is that I e-mailed back and forth with the listing agent about its condition. My clients are VA buyers, thus safety and health are our top concerns. The agent assured me that the house needed minimal improvements and should pass both VA and FHA inspection. This statement could not have been further from the truth. We barely made it into the kitchen before we had to leave the house quickly flee - the MOLD was that bad!
#2: According to the listing this home just needed a bit of TLC but was in move-in condition and showed nicely. It also came with “very motivated sellers” – I like to read that! However, I’m not quite sure who the seller is. Upon arrival at the property we spotted a sign on the door: “This property has been abandoned. It will be winterized and locks will be changed.” Umm … thank you, but no thank you - the broken window, neglected yard, dripping faucet etc. do not look very inviting anyway, definitely not my definition of “shows nicely”.
#3: When I made my showing appointment with the listing agent I was advised to not open the fridge! The owner went overseas “a while ago” and “forgot” to clean it out! Ahhh .. there’s nothing like the smell of rotten food to make a prospective buyer feel welcome! Who do you think should be taking care of this issue? Let me assure you the smell does not get better the longer you wait.
Do you check on your vacant listings? In my opinion, just letting it sit there is not really working in your client's best interest. You see, making sure your vacant listing is in an acceptable showing condition and safe to enter is really a win-win-win situation! Your listing will sell (faster) – isn’t this why it’s on the market in the first place?
P.S.: I don’t consider dead bugs a selling feature. They also do not look very appetizing in the kitchen or on the dining room table. But that's just my humble opinion.
ANDREA BEDARD, M.A. ~ THOMPSON COMPANY, REALTORS ~ LIVING MARYLAND BLIPS
Andrea is a proud military spouse, mom of two beautiful little girls, hobby decorator and a Realtor® based in Silver Spring, MD. Andrea focuses on Montgomery County and Howard County Real Estate, she enjoys everything beautiful in life and always answers the phone with a smile.
All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.