Should You Stay in Your Home or Sell the Home Vacant?

Home Selling Stay or Go

Home Selling: Should you Stay or Go?

If you interviewed a hundred real estate agents in Sacramento and asked whether it was better to sell the home vacant or sell it with the seller living there, I’m betting agents would say the opposite of what I believe. Why do I think that? Because from a buyer’s agent’s point of view, it’s often easier to sell the home vacant. No fuss, no muss to show. Easy in and out. But from a Sacramento listing agent’s point of view, it’s generally better to leave the home occupied with the seller in residence.

Now, I know some agents start to feel like they own the home when they take a listing. It’s a common feeling, believe me. Sort of depends on how long the home is on the market and how many open houses the agent has held. I recall the summer of 2003 when I was the Queen of Vallejo Way in Land Park, and I held open houses every single Sunday for an overpriced listing that no other agent was willing to take. I knew every inch, nook and cranny of that home because I spent so much time in it. I filmed a segment for Good Day, Sacramento! in that house. But I never took a nap on the bed or helped myself to a pop in the ‘frig, in case you’re wondering. That home eventually sold, too, and I still have fond memories when I drive by, many years later.

But no listings are my home, regardless of how I might feel about them. My job is to put the seller’s interests first and foremost. I believe it’s better for the seller to stay in the home, even if it might make my job easier if they moved out. Only if the home is a total mess and unsuitable for showing would I suggest a seller move. It’s not always better to sell the home vacant.

If you’re asking yourself should a home be occupied or vacant when home selling, consider these points:

  • Homes show better with furniture
  • Vacant homes are often vandalized and not all insurance policies cover vacant homes
  • Sellers are present to deal with emergencies
  • Sellers can possibly meet the potential buyers
  • Don’t have to pay for maintaining two homes

Yes, it’s a little bit more of a hassle to clean up the house every day and leave it spotless for showings, and it’s not always convenient to jump in the car and drive around when a buyer shows up, but you’ll probably make more money and sell the home faster if you’re living there. Unless, like I said, you live in a pigsty. Then, yes, you should move out and sell the home vacant.


Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub\'s Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.