If you have already moved out of the house you are selling, the selling process can feel more like a chore than you want it to. You might be living in the next town over or across the country, and you just want to get this house off of your hands. Here are some ways to make this process easier for you.
If you live out of state or far away, prepare for everything.
There are a lot of disadvantages to selling your home while you are not immediately available to run to the house if something goes wrong. For example, what can you do if the house you’re selling in Georgia is showing evidence of flooding while you are in your new home in California? You don’t want to find yourself in this position. To avoid this, prepare for every possible event. Have a designated contact in the area of the home you’re selling to get to the house in such an event. This could be a neighbor, a family member, or a friend who knows the area and has an extra key to access your home in a pinch. Also, have a list of businesses, such as plumbers, electricians, etc. to call if there is an emergency. More importantly, be sure to leave information about the property on the counter, in the form of a seller’s disclosure or take-away fliers with information and contact information for yourself, should buyers or agents have questions.
Be explicit in your showing instructions.
As a seller, you are not responsible for showing your home, so leaving your home vacant during the selling process should not be an issue for agents who bring buyers to your home. However, since you won’t be in your home to prepare it for a showing, or be there afterwards to shut everything down, tell agents in your showing instructions what you would like them to do. For instance, a home is best shown when lights are on in every room and buyers have the option to test appliances. Tell agents that, if they turn on all of the lights in your home, to please shut everything back off before they leave and make sure everything is properly locked up. This might seem like a no-brainer, but explicitly including these directions in your showing instructions will hold agents accountable for shutting things off. If any neighbor notices lights that are turned on when they shouldn’t be after an agent has left, you have the right to call the agent who previously showed your home and tell them to return to the property and shut it down. Of course, the guaranteed solution here would be to have your neighbor or a friend check on the home after every showing or every few days to make sure everything is as it should be.
In general, have a point of contact in the area that you’re selling if things go wrong, and be prepared for every possible event.