How to Protect Unoccupied Property

by Real Estate Moving Forward 07/26/2020

Image by Philipp Berndt from Unsplash

Sometimes the timelines for buying and selling a home don’t match up perfectly. You may have purchased a new home or need to relocate before you can sell your current residence. In these cases, your property may remain empty for weeks or months at a time. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure until ownership is transferred.

Keep Your Utilities Running

It is an extra expense to keep paying for a utility bill on a property you do not occupy, but it's ideal for security purposes. Electricity, in particular, allows for the use of lights to create the impression of occupancy. Consider using lights you can set to a timer — ensure the lights come on at appropriate times in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Installing exterior motion detector lights will turn on your lights when someone comes within range of the sensor. 

If your home is vacant during the winter months, you will want to keep the heat running to avoid issues like frozen pipes. You can maintain the temperature with a programmable thermostat or one that you can connect to remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.

Maintain Your Security System

If you have one, maintain your security system until the next occupant moves in. Let the security company, as well as your local police department, know that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have in place, the better the protection for your property. Having a security system in place can notify you and the local authorities if there is unusual activity on your property. Notice of a security system often serves as a deterrent for keeping criminals away.

Keep the Yard Neat

Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and keep the landscape looking tidy. If you leave your yard looking untidy and unkempt, it is a visual cue to passersby that the house is vacant. If the weather is cold, plan for snow and ice removal to ensure the property is accessible.

Your unoccupied home is a financial asset until it is sold to someone as their forever home. Keep it in the best condition possible until you transfer ownership. If your property may be vacant for an extended period of time, it can be helpful to arrange for a property management service to keep an eye on your home. Your real estate agent is a great resource for management services in your area, call for recommendations today.

About the Author
Author

Real Estate Moving Forward

Nate Tate and Wyvongela Watson, ® Realtors. Proffessional Real Estate agents serving the Washington D.C. area & surrounding towns.