Why So Many Vacant Houses?

I say this as if I don’t know the answer.  I think I know part of the answer.  In the day to day business of an appraiser we have to look at lots of houses in the MLS, both closed sales and active listings.  I would say that at least half  of the ones I see are vacant.  The obvious answer is that they have been foreclosed on or the owners have been transferred in their job and they have already left to their new home.  Is this what you are seeing in your market?  If these two reasons are not why, then what is the reason?  Do you think it is harder to sell a home that is vacant.  Just some things I have been thinking about and I would like to know your thoughts.

Comments

  1. Great point George. I would think that it would be a good idea to clean the home before it is listed for sale so that it looks its best. Cleaning seems to be one of those cosmetic things that would return more than the cost to do it. Do you get many requests to clean the homes prior to listing?

  2. Most houses I inspect are vacant. It seems like 20% or less of my schedule has to be coordinated with a real estate agent.

    • Vacant houses certainly makes it easier to schedule your day and the inspection appointments. Do you find that most of those vacant homes are foreclosed? If not what is the reason?

  3. I have cleaned many foreclosures in the Birmingham area after closings. While some have been in decent shape, some have been left in less than ideal condition. An empty home shows every little flaw and all the soils. My service calls center around flooring and bath areas. The main concern with buyers seem to be about how well those areas can be cleaned to help remove all traces of former occupants.

    • Great point George. I would think that it would be a good idea to clean the home before it is listed for sale so that it looks its best. Cleaning seems to be one of those cosmetic things that would return more than the cost to do it. Do you get many requests to clean the homes prior to listing?

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