Weather plays an interesting role in real estate sales. Extreme summer temperatures can impact your showings and even cause damage to your listings. And when your sellers move out of the house in anticipation of the sale, they may be counting on you, as their listing agent, to make sure nothing goes wrong with the house. Especially if they move out of the area and can’t check on the property themselves.
So what can you do to protect your sellers and their property during the summer heat?
In this article, we’ll look at the things that can go wrong with vacant homes in the summer and what you can do to protect your listings.
What Can Go Wrong with Vacant Homes in the Summer?
The biggest threats to vacant homes during hot summer months are:
Mold. Humidity trapped inside a closed-up house can cause mold to grow. The EPA recommends keeping humidity levels between 30 and 60% to help control mold.
Warping. Heat and humidity can cause wooden beams, doors, and floorboards to warp.
Peeling. Finishes like wallpaper and laminate can peel in excessive heat and humidity.
Pests. Pests, like termites, can move into a property anytime. But summer brings out additional pests, particularly for homes with filled pools. Animals might get into the pool to cool off, and might not be able to get back out.
Leaks. Summer storms can bring roof leaks. And pipes can leak at any time.
Vandalism. While it’s not likely, it is possible that the home could be vandalized, particularly if it’s known to be vacant.
Uncomfortable showings. If the house feels hot, humid, or stuffy, buyers won’t want to spend much time exploring it. Even unpleasant smells of a closed-up house can negatively impact buyers’ impressions. This could mean the house sits on the market for longer than necessary and brings in a lower price than it could have.
Checklist for Site Visits
Whenever you visit the home (whether for a showing or simply to check on the property), follow this quick checklist to make sure your listing remains in good condition.
Confirm that the indoor temperature is reasonable. It should remain below 85 degrees inside while the property is vacant.
Give a quick visual inspection to look for signs of mold, water damage, peeling, or warping.
Check for any signs of pests.
Gather any packages or mail that may have been delivered to the property.
If you’re showing the property, you may need to adjust the AC, crack the windows for fresh air, and light a few candles to burn off the closed-up smell.
Notify the seller of your check, even if nothing is wrong. The sellers will appreciate your diligence in checking on the property.
Actionable Ways to Protect Your Vacant Listings During the Summer
Here are seven ways to protect your vacant listings during the summer.
If the property has AC, insist that your sellers set the thermostat so that the temp won’t exceed 85 degrees.
Make sure you physically visit vacant listings at least once per week to check on them. This can be done during a showing, but if there are no showings scheduled, make time to visit the property anyway.
Encourage your sellers to take advantage of PropTech, like a smart system for controlling the temperature. This will allow them to remotely lower the temperature for showings.
Advise your sellers to watch their water bills. Higher-than-normal water bills can be a sign of a water leak that might not be visible.
Always visit your vacant properties after a storm to make sure there’s no damage and to clear any debris from the yards.
Have your sellers consider a smart security system so they can keep an eye on the property from their new home.
Arrive at showings early so you can make the interior as comfortable as possible before your buyers arrive.
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