Tips for Maintaining Your Vacant House

Posted by under Selling Your Home

Avoid the potentially costly mistake of abandoning your old home for a shiny new one

When you buy a new house, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re instantly off the hook for being responsible for the old one. Maybe your old house is still up for sale. Maybe it’s empty until you decide whether to sell it or rent it out to tenants. Or maybe it’s sold and your closing dates just don’t match up.

Don’t make the potentially costly mistake of abandoning your vacant house for your shiny new one. If you want your house to sell, keep it looking lived in. If you just want to avoid vandalism or a potential break-in, keep it looking lived in.

Here are a few tips for maintaining your vacant house so it looks alive and lived in:

Frequent Visitors

You’ll be busy transitioning into your new home, so odds are that you won’t be able to keep an adequate eye on the house all by yourself. After you’ve vacated, ask trustworthy friends, family or neighbours to stop by and visit the house every now and again. They can simply drive by or park in the driveway every couple days.

Keep it Clean

A well-maintained exterior of a house will give the impression that someone lives there. Keep your lawn maintained every week, check the mail every day or two, and keep newspapers and any litter off the property. If left unattended, these can all be telltale signs of a vacant property.

Let There be Light

Sure, it might cost a few bucks in hydro to keep the lights running, but you can be sure a break-in or vandalism will cost you more. Set your internal and external lights on a timer, alternating throughout various rooms of the house at different times of the day.

When you take a little time to maintain your old property, you’re setting yourself up to successfully sell it—or, at the very least, keep the bad guys away.

What are some of the ways you’ve kept your vacant house safe and looking lived in after you’ve moved on? Share your tips with us here!

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