Tips For Selling A Vacant Home

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group Ottawa

Selling your vacant home can be a wee bit stressful but with a few touches you can enhance the home.
Most people are considerate and law abiding but there are always some that are not.  So, when selling your vacant house there is potential of it being vandalized, damaged or broken into.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #1: Tell your neighbours.

Let your neighbours know that the house will be vacant starting on a certain date and provide them with contact information so that they can notify you and/or call the police, if there are strangers lurking around. Inform your neighbours that the house will be on the market shortly and ask your real estate agent to maybe visit the house once in a while.  Also, notify your insurance agent that the house is vacant and let them know who will be checking the house on a regular basis.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #2: Stage To Reflect An Occupied Home

If possible, stage certain rooms in the house to give that lived-in look.  Here are a few tips:  A couple of chairs in the living room, an area rug, an end table between the two chairs, some dried flowers and voila!  For the master bedroom, get some same size boxes, cover with a comforter, a few pillows and again, the room is furnished.  In the kitchen, a few items on the counter – the house presents itself better online with furnished rooms.  Where to get these items – well, sometimes your real estate agent can help you there or a home stager but you can always go to the Salvation Army Store, or other second hand stores and those items.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #3: Consider Whether Open Houses Are Worth The Risk

Open Houses are they necessary?  You need to consider a few things before decided to have an open house. Many real estate agents will tell you open houses should be done every weekend or at least every couple weekends to get your house sold.  Others will tell you open houses are a big waste of time for a seller and the only reason for open houses is for the real estate agent to pick up potential clients.  For the most part, there are more drawbacks to holding open houses when selling your home.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #4: Secure Possible Entrances

It’s very important that the entrances are secured as well as windows.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #5: Install A Security System

It might be a good idea to install a security system during the time that the house is on the market and it can be an added feature when listing your house.  This way, you will know when people enter the house and leave it.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #6: Retrieve Mail and Newspapers Regularly

Cancel all newspapers, let your post office know to redirect the mail to your new address and ask them not to leave any flyers in your mail box.  If you have home delivery, add a sticker to your mailbox requesting that no unsolicited mail be left.  Also, ask one of your neighbours or someone that is checking on your house to remove any mail or flyers left at your doorstep.  No point of advertising that the house is vacant

Vacant Home Selling Tip #7: Keep Lights On

LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON  or put them on a timer.  No need to have the lights on during the day but once the sun is down, ensure that there’s some lights set up on timers.  Also, have some lights on in the evening for potential buyers coming to visit the house. Or, add a few motion activated lights for the exterior of your home.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #8: Maintain Curb Appeal
Maintaining the exterior of your home creates positive curb appeal.  Well maintained outside is a sign that the house is visited often and it deters unwanted visitors.  The grass, flowers, shrubs should be maintained and during the winter months – hire a snow removal company.  Often potential buyers will drive-by homes and neighbourhoods before booking a showing to see the interior.  If your vacant home does not have a well maintained exterior, it can have potential buyers steering clear of it.

Vacant Home Selling Tip #9: Maintain A Reasonable Temperature

It’s super important that your house temperate is at a comfortable temperature.  Here are the reasons WHY you should not turn off the utilities in a vacant house..

In the winter, you do NOT want the temperature fall to the point where your pipes might freezing a create a mess.  Like icicles hanging from your ceiling. Leave the thermostat at 18 – Also, when potential buyers come to the house you don’t want them to feel cold.  You want them to think that the house is nice and cozy.

In the summer, leave the air conditioning system ON!  There’s nothing worse than entering a house with buyers and everyone talks about how hot it’s in the house and no one pays attention to the actual abode.


Make your house as inviting as possible and it will sell.  Always remember – LOCATION, CONDITION AND PRICE these = SOLD. Call or Text Irene at 613-858-1151 where Real Estate is all about YOU!!

Posted by

Irene Bilinski, ASA
Bilingual Sales Representative

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group Ottawa

Direct (613) 858-1151
Office (613) 590-3000

Real Estate… it’s all about You!


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Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Irene , very good post ! I LIKED IT and BOOKMARKED It !!! Go over to the Q & A Section and post a comment on a similar stream of thought about photographing vacant homes .

Feb 23, 2018 08:09 AM #1
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

Letting the neighbors know is critical! I like to set up lights on timers so they aren't on all the time. Having staging furnishings in the house can even help w/ insurance if there is a break in, or so I've been told. 

Feb 23, 2018 09:41 AM #2

This is a valuable blog post. I liked it. Thanks for sharing the tips for realty developers.

Mar 08, 2019 11:54 PM #3
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope 2019 is a great year for you.

Mar 11, 2019 06:10 AM #4
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