How to Protect an Unoccupied Home After a Move

by Maryann Ross Levanti 01/05/2020

Image by Philipp Berndt from Unsplash

Sometimes the timelines for buying and selling a home don’t match up perfectly. You may have purchased a new home or need to relocate before you can sell your current residence. In these cases, your property may remain empty for weeks or months at a time. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure until ownership is transferred.

Keep Your Utilities Running

It is an extra expense to keep paying for a utility bill on a property you do not occupy, but it's ideal for security purposes. Electricity, in particular, allows for the use of lights to create the impression of occupancy. Consider using lights you can set to a timer — ensure the lights come on at appropriate times in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Installing exterior motion detector lights will turn on your lights when someone comes within range of the sensor. 

If your home is vacant during the winter months, you will want to keep the heat running to avoid issues like frozen pipes. You can maintain the temperature with a programmable thermostat or one that you can connect to remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.

Maintain Your Security System

If you have one, maintain your security system until the next occupant moves in. Let the security company, as well as your local police department, know that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have in place, the better the protection for your property. Having a security system in place can notify you and the local authorities if there is unusual activity on your property. Notice of a security system often serves as a deterrent for keeping criminals away.

Keep the Yard Neat

Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and keep the landscape looking tidy. If you leave your yard looking untidy and unkempt, it is a visual cue to passersby that the house is vacant. If the weather is cold, plan for snow and ice removal to ensure the property is accessible.

Your unoccupied home is a financial asset until it is sold to someone as their forever home. Keep it in the best condition possible until you transfer ownership. If your property may be vacant for an extended period of time, it can be helpful to arrange for a property management service to keep an eye on your home. Your real estate agent is a great resource for management services in your area, call for recommendations today.

About the Author
Author

Maryann Ross Levanti

I'm Maryann Ross Levanti, looking forward to meeting you and helping you find your new home and/or sell your current one. I've lived in Fairfield County the majority of my life - grew up in Westport, (Coleytown, Coleytown, Staples), undergrad at UPenn, masters from Edinburgh, Scotland. I'm ABR and GRI certified, and hold a broker's license in real estate, as well as a provisional appraiser license. Additionally, I am the exclusive agent for CCO Habitats - a HOBI award winning building company which regularly offers new construction homes as well as renovated homes to the market in Westport. In my 20 plus years of selling homes, I've learned many things - among them - the customer is not always right. Nor am I. However, if we work together we have a much better chance of being correct and either getting your home sold or finding the home that best suits your needs. Yes, I'm outspoken and opinionated. But anyone with a license can open a door - wouldn't you rather have doors opened by someone who actually tells you the truth and is willing to put her years of experience and knowledge into working 24/7 for you to help you understand what you're getting into? You may not always like what you hear, and there are no crystal balls in this business. But I believe an informed decision is always better. Hopefully you do too! As a yearly winner of the Connecticut Five Star Realtor award and frequently repeated recipient of customer service awards indicate; my priority is you, my client, and my clients appreciate it. Put my local knowledge, professional skills, ethics and dedication to work for you - give me a call 203.984.5157.