Have you ever owned a home that will not sell? For a variety of reasons, some houses do not sell easily. A home that will not sell is a burden to its owner. Particularly if the problems associated with its marketability have to do with factors totally outside of the owners control. There are a variety of these factors . The only choice may be to drop the price to a level that the owner is not willing to accept. The problems become even more complicated if the owner does not live in the home and the home sits vacant.
There are a variety of factors that an owner can not control that may lead to a home that will not sell.
There is nothing you can do about this issue. Twenty years ago the location may have been perfect. Things change and today your location is not.
Sure, you can ask your neighbors to take their three pit bulls inside when you have showings, but the 10 foot dog pen in the backyard still looks suspicious. What can you do about the neighbor whose driveway contains 3 broken down vehicles in line for the rehab work performed in their garage on weekends. There is nothing you can do unless the neighbor is breaking a community rule or law. Many people prefer not to shake the hornet’s nest by complaining about anything happening at a neighbor’s property.
In some locations, climate factors limit home buying during the year. Other places have an economy where demand is stronger at certain times. If seasonal factors are causing problems selling your home, you can just wait them out. Or can you? Who knows what the future holds?
Supply and demand are key components of the housing market. Is demand weak due to factors such as unemployment or low wage growth, or even changing demographics? If that is the case, the needle is not going to swing back in the sellers favor quickly.
Is the government involved in the housing market? Of course they are. Despite good intentions, sometimes the decisions of policy makers do not positively affect the housing market. If you can afford to wait it out while your representatives try a different course, then feel free to do so. Before waiting too long, review the first four factors and ask yourself will any of those become a factor.
When the above risk factors are out of a homeowners control, but life is calling with a new home somewhere else, the owner has to make a decision.
Leaving Your Home Vacant
If the home you have been trying to sell is still sitting on the market, empty, it is costing you money. in maintenance and risk. You know about maintenance (utilities, yard, security, cleaning) but what about risk?
Risk is what you are exposed to because nobody is living in this home. I can make a case that you have more risk with your empty home than one with a tenant.
Risk is a function of decisions made by a responsible party and the likelihood there could be a resulting cost. A vacant home is an accident waiting to happen, particularly with factors out of our human control such as weather. For example, lets say during a storm a branch falls across some electric wires that service your home. Who knows the electricity is not arriving to the home? Who knows that the home has no power? What happens to the interior in short order if the air is brought into equilibrium with the outside temperatures? Have you ever seen the damage a frozen, then burst, water pipe inside a home can cause? Or, the mold that can appear almost overnight in a warm damp house?
It is likely that no matter how much you know about your property, if you are not living within a fifteen minute drive, you need somebody who is lowering the risk of the fact your home is vacant. Professional property managers have experience from managing all types of risk events. They can help an owner prevent, and if necessary, mitigate risk.
If your home will not sell, renting the home is the best way to mitigate several types of risk exposures. A property manager can find somebody to rent and enjoy your home. A great manager will also know all the crucial steps to properly screen and background check any interested renters. Your tenants will be your eyes and ears for maintenance and repairs issues while paying YOU monthly for the service!
The home you can’t sell is an asset. Think like an Asset Manager and mitigate risk by making the decision to rent that home now.