If you're moving out while your home is still on the market, your vacant property could attract more than potential buyers -- it could attract criminal activity.
An unoccupied property is at risk for a break-in, and removing all your belongings doesn't mean you're in the clear. Graffiti, damaged appliances, stolen copper wiring and broken windows can all add up to thousands of dollars in repairs.
Remember, don't forget to let a REALTOR know your moving plans. Your agent will want to take extra precautions once your property is vacant, and to keep your investment as safe as possible, you'll have to convince passerby the property is still occupied.
Here's how to pull it off.
1. Ask for Backup
With more eyes on the house, you'll have a better chance of getting quick assistance if someone does break in.
2. Maintain the Lawn
In the cooler months, clean the rain gutters, rake leaves off the lawn and clear the driveway and walkway if it snows.
3. Don't Let Paper Pile Up
Ask a family member, friend or neighbor to stop by your home regularly to check for phone books, flyers and any mail that might have been accidentally delivered.
4. Make Repairs
A cracked window, broken porch railing or loose shutter are small problems -- but problems a live-in owner would fix.
5. Use Your Driveway
6. Leave the Curtains Behind
Keep the curtains drawn and the blinds closed, even at the back of the house, in case a potential vandal hops your fence to see what's inside.
7. Keep the Lights On
Some would-be thieves or vandals will watch a property for days before breaking in. If they see lights in different rooms, they'll assume the property still is occupied.
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