By Edward Hurley

Being a real estate agent means selling homes that are not always easy to get people into. Some agents prefer to sell vacant homes, while others like to sell still-occupied listings. Many agents have techniques and sales plans for both types of these listings. Agents know different listings require different marketing plans. So what exactly are the pros and cons of selling either one?

Vacant Home

Pros of Vacant Homes

A vacant home occurs usually when the homeowner has already bought another home and decided to move out before they’ve sold their original home. When this happens, it is the real estate agent’s job to sell the home without the homeowner and their belongings present in the home. This means that the home is empty, and it is up to the real estate agent to help potential buyers see the potential in an empty home. There are some great things about a vacant home:

  • A homeowner is not there to get in the way of a client truly expressing how they feel about the home.
  • The agent is able to show the home whenever a buyer wants to see it—even if that means late at night without interrupting the homeowner’s life.
  • It’s beneficial to show a vacant home, because as an agent, you can come and go as you please without having to be shy of interrupting the homeowner.

vacant home

Cons of Vacant Homes

Vacant can also cause some complications for homeowners, real estate agents, and even homebuyers. Even though a vacant home can be beneficial, there are some negatives to selling a vacant home:

  • If a buyer has a poor imagination, and the fact that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a new home, they will be uninterested in making an offer on a vacant home. This is why many agents tell homeowners they need to stage their home in order for it to sell faster.
  • There are many dangers that come with leaving a home vacant: squatters (people living in an empty home without paying rent or without notice), theft (i.e. stealing ceiling fans, air-conditioning units, sinks, toilets, etc.), and even vandalism. This will only cause problems for the homeowner and agent who both want to sell the home as quickly as possible because this will lead to time and money spent on repairing the home instead of selling it. Kyle Hiscock shares some Safety tips that you should always do when listing a vacant home for sale: like telling your neighbors and the local police station that your home will be vacant during the sale.

Pros of Still-Occupied Listings

Still-Occupied Listings are what real estate agents are more used to selling. The pros of selling a still-occupied listing come in many forms. Many agents would rather sell a still-occupied listing, and here are the reasons why:

  • Still-occupied listings are beneficial for potential buyers because they are easier to stage.
  • Dangerous circumstances or uncontrollable emergencies are unlikely to happen with a homeowner still living in the home during the selling process.
  • The seller will be able to help stage the home and even help set up the open house with the agent.

vacant home

Cons of Still-Occupied Listings

  • The furniture may be drab or old, which in turn can hurt potential sales of the home.
  • The seller can be a messy person, and this can leave the home smelling bad, being dirty, or in utter disarray that the agent will have to accommodate for during the selling process.

Which to Go With

You can’t always choose which listing is going to come your way. You’ll have to learn techniques and marketing skills to sell either a vacant home or a still-occupied listing. You should stage both types of listings and tell the homeowner to not stay at home during the open house. This way, you’re the person in control, and you can make sure that the home is in great condition during open houses. Just be sure to stage every home you sell because this will allow potential buyers to see the home as inviting, beautiful, and make them want to make it their own.

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