If you have left town and have a home on the market for sale, it’s going to need a caretaker in your absence. Home owners often underestimate the issues that may arise once they have departed. It’s easy to think that nothing will go wrong while the sale proceeds but nothing could be further from the truth.
What To Turn Off – What To Leave On
While you still own the property you are responsible for all the utilities. So what can you turn off and what should you leave on? It’s perfectly fine to disconnect and close services you no longer have use for. Examples are the land line phone service, internet service and TV service. These are services you’ll likely start under a new account and often with a different company in your new location. They make no difference at all to the care of the property. Other utilities that need to remain on contribute to the safety of your home and can contribute to it’s sale-ability. For example electricity service, gas service, water service, and similar. Barrington is in a four season weather location so turning off heating in winter can cause frozen pipes which may split and cause water damage. Without electricity a furnace cannot fire up. Water can be turned off, should you drain down the water in the pipes? Should you turn the water heater off? All valid questions. It’s your property and your risk, you should decide, not some one on your behalf.
Here’s are services to consider:
- Water Heater
- Water Softener
- Water Supply
- Well Pump
- Swimming Pool Pumps
- Outbuilding Services
- Alarm System
Who Is In Charge?
Believe me, looking after your home from a distance is impossible. You need someone to act as caretaker of your property. Consider who this could and should be. Family are more likely to have a vested interest whereas a neighbor may get tired of being the unpaid person, especially if months pass and the property remains unsold. The decisions should still be your’s, it’s still your property. Yet you need someone to care-take and do it responsibly!
There are some property systems that can be turned off, others need to remain on. Think very carefully about what you will turn off and what needs to stay on.
Inspections are necessary! A vacant home is a dangerous home. Make sure your caretaker is willing to visit regularly to check on it.
You must remain available at least by phone.
Property Damage and Insurance
If your property is damaged, you’ll need to pay for the repairs. Water damage is expensive! Fires are disasters! Whether or not your insurance covers the damage is in your home owners insurance policy. A word of insurance warning! Check your policy coverage. It’s not uncommon for a policy to become void if a property is left vacant for 30 days or more. Your policy coverage may be reduced or you may be OK if you let the company know. There’s no hard and fast rule but DON’T ASSUME!
While you have been living in the property how good were you about regular maintenance, keeping your systems serviced and functioning, even updating as needed. If you haven’t stayed on top of your maintenance, I more or less guarantee something will go wrong just as soon as your are gone.
Is It Your Realtor’s Job To Care Take Your Vacant Home
The quick answer to that question is no. Not unless you have some prior property management agreement with them. Most Realtors in Barrington have no property management experience. We do! We have managed several properties for extended periods of time.
In normal circumstances the care-taking of a home requires a property management agreement. However if you are selling a home the chances are before long we’ll get a buyer and you’ll close the sale. It’s one of the reasons we will care take your property if you have left town for no extra charge. It’s included in our compensation fee. The other reasons are:
- We truly care about our clients and their homes.
- We consider it a part of the elevated service levels we provide as needed.
- We know if can have a direct effect on the sale price of your home.
- We know it can speed up the sale process of your home.
- You can relax a little! Even though it’s stressful being far away, you’ve already entrusted your sale to us, trust us to do what’s right and be your homes care-taker too.
Choosing The Perfect Realtor Fit
If you have a home to sell in Barrington you have a plan. Whatever that plan is should contribute to your choice in Realtor. If relocation is in the plan or being absent from the home before sale, you may not want the Realtor with a 100 listings, or the most sales for their company! They may not be the right pick for some-one who needs more hand holding or property care taking during the sale process. Chances are you won’t get a lot of attention!
Our experience of relocation and property management alongside absentee owners is perfect for you if you are relocating and leaving your home empty. Wouldn’t you agree? Great! Give Corinne a call at 847-363-3686.