Selling June 10, 2024

How to Protect an Unoccupied Property

Sometimes, the timelines for buying and selling a home need to match better. 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. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure until ownership is transferred.


While it may seem like an extra expense, keeping your utilities running on a vacant property is a practical security measure. Electricity, in particular, can be used to create the illusion of occupancy. Consider using lights with timers to ensure they come on in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Exterior motion detector lights are also a great addition, turning on when someone comes within range of the sensor. 

 If your home is vacant during winter, 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 you can connect remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.


If you have a security system, it’s essential to maintain it until the next occupant moves in. Inform the security company and local police that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have, the better the protection for your property. A security system can alert you and the authorities to unusual activity, and its mere presence often deters criminals.


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. Please 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 it. Your real estate agent is a great resource for management services in your area; call for recommendations today.