How To “Flip” Your Vacant House

How to Get the Best Price for Your Vacant House                                                                                                                                 How much of your property value are you losing with every month that a home stands vacant? Right now, we are in the middle of a major housing crunch with real estate prices almost universally going through the roof. But if you own a home that is currently standing empty, even in this economic climate your property value could be dropping like a stone instead. As the yard gets overgrown and the siding ages, you lose major curb appeal and every rain storm has the looming threat of moisture and damaging mold with no residents to run the AC and watch out for signs of leaks. This isn’t just a terrible waste of property in a time when people need housing, it’s a downright tragedy for your checking account.The good news is that it’s not too late. While vacant houses often sell for much less than they would if occupied and maintained, according to Zillow (the nation’s leading listing platform) “remodeled” is one of the powerful words you can put in the details of your listing. If you want to see your currently vacant property sell at it’s true value in the currently booming housing market, all you need is a little recovery landscaping and some light, affordable renovations. Here’s the secret to getting the best price for your vacant house:

Treat It Like a ‘Flip’One of the latest trends in reality television is also an age-old tradition in renovating old houses into nice modern homes. Professional flippers are actually a special type of investment property owner, working on one property at a time buying shabby homes for cheap, renovating them, and selling at a much higher price for big profits. Take back your vacant house and look at it with new eyes. This is your opportunity to ‘flip’ it into something that the next residents will love.

How Much Renovation

Your goal is to keep as much of the original structure as possible and focus on changes that will enhance the comfort and appeal of the home. If you’re on a budget or in a hurry, stick to easy changes that can be taken care of in a few afternoons and weekends. If you’re willing to go all-out, consider working with a contractor who specializes in home renovation and expect to wait a few weeks or months. Costs vary widely depending on the brands chosen and extent of your renovations.

Easy Changes – $50 to $800 depending on choices

  • Repainting
  • Replacing wallpaper and panels
  • Replacing Handles, Fixtures, and Faucets
  • New Molding
  • New Light Fixtures

Mid-level Changes – $500 – $5,000

  • New floors
  • New cabinets or countertops
  • New Sinks and plumbing fixtures

Get an Expert Changes – $3,000 – $30,000

  • Taking out or adding walls
  • Balconies
  • Pools


Design the Landscaping

Landscaping isn’t just about mowing the lawn and raking leaves. The size, shape, and configuration of lawn features can be used to flatter the house, boost its curb appeal, and make the yard more enjoyable to spend time in. A little landscaping can go a long way in making yards both beautiful and family-friendly for pets, kids, hobbies, and barbecues.

Update the Appliances

Just like laugh lines reveal the age of a person, usually a home’s age can be guessed by the age of the stove or water heater. These integral appliances are part of what makes a house into a modern, enjoyable residence so updating them is a great way to increase the appeal and value of your property all at once.

Appliances You Could Update

  • Stove and Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Oven Hood and Light
  • Water Heater
  • AC and Heating System
  • Bathroom Fan

Many people either through inheritance, circumstance, or under-managed investment property find themselves owning a vacant, unused house. If you don’t want it anymore (or possibly never did) why waste the opportunity? With a little elbow grease, you can transform the sad, empty abode into a glowing new residence for some happy family. The renovations will be fun, the selling process will be interesting, and you’ll come out of the deal with one less property and a lot of delightful real estate profits.


At Kaufman Realty & Auctions, we enjoy providing Pro-Tips and insights for real estate owners in Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.  If you have questions about what is best for you real estate please contact us.

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