At this time of year many homeowners start returning to their respective countries, leaving their properties in the hands of their trusted Real Estate Agent to sell for them. This is a regular occurrence and not a problem for any Professional Real Estate Agent. However, please remember when leaving your property on the market vacant, there are some do’s and don’ts that you must consider before closing the door and saying Hasta La Vista.
The electric: I have had the pleasure of showing a vacant property where the owners had returned to their country, turned the electric off and forgotten they had left food in the refrigerator! You can imagine the smell that greeted us when I opened the door. Please either leave your electric on, or empty the fridge with the door left slightly open.
The water supply: Many people like to turn the water off too when vacating. If you’re going to do this, please be sure to let your Agent know where the connection is to turn it back on if necessary. I was showing a house when the buyer desperately needed to use the bathroom. Well you can imagine my horror when the buyer returned, face white, and said that she had used the facilities BUT there was no water in the toilet! Not a pretty sight! I was frantically running around trying to find the connection. It is always helpful to leave us an air freshener spray out too!
Bugs: This time of year, those little pesky ants are frantically looking for water and somehow find their way into your home. Unfortunately the only way to combat them, is to make sure the seals are tight on the windows and there are no crumbs left out anywhere. A can of bug spray left in a cupboard would be useful.
Swimming pools: By dosing them up with chemicals and keeping the filtration pump on its timer, should prevent them from looking like pea soup! Or even easier, employ a Pool Cleaner! Please don’t empty them. By keeping them full will prevent any cracking thus causing potential leaks. Whilst your property is on the market, there is nothing more appealing than seeing the glistening waters of a full, clean swimming pool.
Security: My last rule is always lock your home as normal, whether your property is on the market or not. Again, any Real Estate Professional will be used to going into dark homes where the shutters are all down. Never been a problem for me, and never will be! Like anywhere in the world, security first.
Although I’ve had more than my fair share of “mess” to clean up or “smell” to get rid of, by leaving your vacant home ready for a viewing, will make it a more pleasurable first impression for any buyer, and a happier experience for your Agent.