Some sellers don't have much choice. They may have had to move to another location before their previous home sold. Others may prefer to move as soon as possible for employment or other reasons. Some homeowners, though, do have a choice when it comes to whether or not to show their home vacant or occupied. To help you better evaluate those two choices for selling single-family homes, read below.
Occupied by Owner
You may have heard that homes with furnishings sell better than empty homes. That may still be true but now sellers have the option of using home staging to make their homes look more inviting. Several other reasons to stay put when putting your home on the marketplace include:
- Financial Considerations – It might not be financially feasible to pay utility, mortgage, and other home-related expenses for two homes. Remaining in the home can be more cost-effective for the seller.
- Upkeep and Security – An unoccupied home could be a target for vandals. Some cannot resist the temptation to enter a seemingly vacant property and do damage. Squatters and thieves are not unheard of either. They are a lot less likely to invade a home that is occupied. Also, being in residence means someone will be there to catch problems before they get worse. For example, a burst pipe or leaking water heater can be addressed in a more timely manner before more damage is done.
- Personal Interaction – If you are particular about who buys your home, living in it until it's sold can provide insight. Be careful, though, about violating Fair Housing Laws in your efforts to sell your home to a nice family just like your own.
Vacant and Ready
On the other hand, you may want to move out if any of the following ring true with your situation:
- Convenience – It can be inconvenient to have your home shown, often on a moment's notice. You can relax in your new place without having to worry about keeping it perfectly clean and neat at all times. Showing vacant homes is also easier for real estate agents because they don't have to make arrangements with the seller beforehand. That might mean they can show a home immediately instead of possibly losing the sale to another seller.
- Appearance – Some sellers have rooms full of large, heavy furniture, lots of accessories about, and issues with odors or pets. In those cases, moving out can allow buyers to view the rooms at their best instead of at their most cluttered. Rooms do tend to look larger when they are as empty as possible.
If you can't choose, speak with your real estate agent about the decision to stay or move on while your home is being sold.