Calling all property owners who are trying to sell a vacant home in Portland! There’s something you should know…

During the first half of 2018, 2,839 vacant homes were listed for sale in Portland. Of those homes, only 2,221 sold. That means 22% of vacant homes did not sell.

How can you ensure you’re among the 78% of property owners who sell their vacant homes without a hitch? Read on to learn how to avoid mistakes when selling a vacant home and get the best result (and the most money).


Want to fast track your sale?

Selling a vacant home takes extra time, effort, and money with no guaranteed results. If you need to sell your vacant home fast, consider selling to Columbia Redevelopment. We’d love to make you a competitive, all-cash offer within 24 hours with no fees, inspections, or hassle. It’s as simple as that.


First, why is it difficult to sell a vacant home?


Selling a home often comes down to winning a beauty contest — particularly when you want to price your house aggressively. Having an empty or abandoned home on your hands makes this tough.

People want to buy the home that looks the best, inside an out. A home buyer also wants to envision what their life will look like in this new home. They want to know what the space will look like when it’s occupied with furniture, decorations, and belongings.

Of course, there’s a fine line between a carefully staged home and one that’s unkempt and overly “lived-in.” The perfect home gives potential buyers a good starting point for inspiration, while leaving room to imagine their own life in this new space.

Tip: Real estate investment companies don’t care about any of this. You can sell your home for cash as-is.

If you’re hoping to sell your vacant home the traditional route, keep reading for your to-do list for making the best impression and receiving the offer you want.


1. Make sure the house doesn’t look vacant from the outside

A vacant property should never look vacant for two important reasons:

  • It’s feels uninviting to homebuyers
  • It’s an open invitation to thieves, vandals, and squatters

There are a few steps you can take to make your vacant home look a little more lived in:

  • Pick up mail daily — even if no one is living there, mail may still be delivered
  • Place lights on timers so they go on automatically in the evening
  • Use curtains or blinds over the windows — you don’t’ want every person walking by to immediately know the house is vacant
  • Check in regularly — stop by at different times during the week
  • Know the neighbors — if you’re familiar with neighbors, let them know the house is vacant so they can help you keep an eye out for any suspicious activity

You also want to make sure the front of the home doesn’t look overgrown, which bring us to our next tip…


2. Don’t neglect the yard


Keep the grounds and garden in good condition. Spend time…

  • Pulling weeds
  • Trimming bushes and trees
  • Growing grass
  • Spreading mulch
  • Planting flowers

Beyond keeping the property from looking like an abandoned house, which could encourage unwanted visitors, keeping the property in good shape will attract the right buyers. In fact, when it comes to the real estate industry, a home’s curb appeal is considered single most important piece of the home sale puzzle.


3. Install a security system

Make sure all entrances are secured. This may seem obvious, but there are sellers who fall short in this area. Don’t let that slightly cracked upstairs window go unnoticed or leave a sliding door without a stopper.

Depending on the neighborhood, you may also want to install a professional security system. This will ensure your home stays safe. If you don’t want to spend the money on this type of technology, there are cheaper surveillance camera options you can purchase that require self monitoring.


4. Start with a clean slate (and keep it that way)


Whether or not you plan on staging the home (something we’ll discuss a little later in this post), begin by giving the house a deep cleaning.

This typically includes:

  • Scrubbing the floors
  • Getting the carpet cleaned
  • Dusting nooks and crannies
  • Bleaching the shower, toilet, and sink
  • Cleaning the windows
  • Shining appliances

From that moment out, you’ll need to give the house an upkeep clean every few weeks. This might include a top level dusting as well as sweeping and vacuuming the floors.

This is all to give the potential homeowner a clean canvas for which to imagine their new life. Which leads to our next tip…


5. Paint your walls for a fresh look

You should also consider painting the interior of your home. This is especially important if you have rooms that are sporting wild, bright, or moody shades. Even though this is theoretically a simple fix, these types of colors can be hard to look past for potential homebuyers.

We recommend hiring a professional to paint your walls and be sure to use a neutral color throughout.


6. Hire a staging company


Home staging is the process of decorating and arranging model furniture pieces and decorations in your home. The goal is to accentuate the home’s most desirable features, making it incredibly desirable to prospective buyers.

Many people selling vacant homes will ultimately decide to hire a professional home staging company. This is because it gives homebuyers a more complete idea of what they’re buying, and helps them envision their life in the space.

Additionally, homes that are properly staged typically sell much faster and for a higher price, with one report showing that 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less.