The Cost of Keeping a Vacant Home on the Market

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Most Realtors will tell you that selling an empty home is much more difficult than selling while you are in residence. Pricing and presentation go hand in hand – when a house is vacant, offers often drop 10% off the asking price. An empty house can carry an air of desperation causing a buyer to decide that the owner will be more willing to accept a lower offer.

In addition to the obvious drawbacks of selling a vacant house, sellers should consider all of the costs of keeping the house after they have moved. Not only will there be expenses for interior, exterior and yard maintenance; there will also be the cost of utilities to keep the lights, heat and air conditioning running.

You will continue to be responsible for payments against any outstanding mortgage balance, as well as property taxes. When the home is not longer the owner’s primary residence that owner loses the Maryland homestead tax credit, and taxes will increase.

A seller might have to stage the house and incur an additional expense for home staging. That’s because buyers typically cannot envision a space without furniture. An empty room is really just four walls and a ceiling. There is nothing attractive about that.

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