Selling a Vacant Home vs. an Occupied House – Which is Easier?

Selling homes is not an easy task. Each property comes with its own set of challenges from difficult sellers, picky buyers, and then there’s the property itself. Dealing with an occupied property is different than dealing with a vacant property. Selling each requires a very different strategy to be successful.

Is it easier to sell a vacant or occupied home? Let’s take a look at the process for both.

Occupied Homes

In the United States, there are around 75 million homes occupied by their owners. When purchasing a home, prospective buyers tend to look at several different properties owned by many sellers who can’t move out until their current home is sold. Typically, occupied homes are a little easier to sell than vacant homes for a few reasons.

  1. The home is not as attractive to break-ins. Like it or not, a vacant home is a prime scene for burglaries. It’s obvious that the property is empty, a for sale sign is in the yard, and people come and go frequently. Those that want to vandalize a home look for easy targets, and a vacant property is the perfect place. Something else that may not cross your mind – open houses are a great way for thieves to stake out their next target.
  2. Occupied homes feel lived in. The buyers don’t have to visualize what the house would look like with their furniture inside – because there’s already furniture in it. There’s also something to be said about having a family feel to the home while people are viewing it. It makes it feel less cold and sterile than a vacant house.
  3. There are no surprises when it’s time to show the home to a prospective buyer. In a vacant home, no one is around to call for help if an emergency arises. When you arrive at the home for a showing, you could walk into water damage or a burst pipe, and not know about it until it is too late.

Vacant Homes

Here’s the thing – there are going to be times when you have to sell a vacant home, and don’t have the luxury of working with owners that are staying in their house until the property is sold. While you have a different set of challenges to work with, selling a vacant home is not impossible!

  1. Vacant homes are always available to show. There’s no worrying about home owners not having the availability on a specific day to handle the potential sale. As a realtor, you typically have a full schedule of homes you show on a day to day basis. A vacant home can be squeezed into a time slot wherever you need it!
  2. The buyer won’t have to wait for the current owner to move out, or worry about any damage during the moving process. Once the buyer signs the papers and the sale is complete – the house is theirs, it’s a done deal. The vacant home can be handed over without having to coordinate moving dates between owners.
  3. As the realtor, you don’t have to worry about what sort of mess you’re walking into when showing the home. An occupied home has a family living in it that produces a day to day mess of daily life. With a vacant home, you know you’re not going to worry about dishes in the sink, a spill on the rug, or any other messy surprises when walking into a showing of the home.
  4. Some buyers like to see the home completely empty. Think of the vacant home as a blank canvas. The new owners can envision their own furniture and possessions in the space instead of trying to picture it around the current owner’s stuff.

Like we said, selling homes, both occupied and vacant, have their own sets of pros and cons, but a good realtor can make the sale regardless of the type of home they’re selling.

Restoration Services for Residential Properties

At McMahon Services, we work with many different residential properties around the Northern Illinois area and help with restoration projects due to water or fire damage. If you have a home you’re selling and need assistance with a restoration project, fill out a form on our website, or call us at 847-566-4568 for more information.

We also offer air duct and carpet cleaning to complete the home buying process!