When you are not living in the home you have staged to sell you have advantages over those people who are living in their staged homes.

You're not tucking away your toiletries and polishing faucets on a daily basis, but you have a separate set of challenges.

You'll want to keep your property from looking vacant.


Because of vandalism, which can be a problem in any setting -- rural, suburban or urban -- you don't want people to be able to look in windows. 

But you also want people who tour the home to be able to see rooms flooded with as much natural light as possible. The solution is some sort of sheer window treatments that let light in but partially obscure the view of the interior from outside.

I always suggest investing in some programmable timers. It's easy to set timers to make lights and radios come on and go off at various times to create the effect of people being in the home.  You can find different styles online, some simple ones as economical as $10.

Obviously, the owners of the property pictured above didn't hire a reliable lawn service. When a home's exterior shows neglect, a house hunter begins calculating just how low he can go if he decides to make an offer. And some will just tell their Realtor to drive on by.

Keeping the exterior tidy is one important part of 
selling a vacant property, but there are other techniques
that will keep the property safe and make it look lived in. 

Outside care

A lawn service won't solve all exterior upkeep problems. If debris blows into the entranceway, mildew grows on the siding, cobwebs surround the door, and windows are getting dirty, the home is losing appeal, and that translates into dollars lost. 

Some homeowners in this position ask a neighbor or pay a person to stop by on a regular basis and tend to their home's exterior.

Inside the home isn't safe from looking neglected. Ideally, someone will walk through the property to check for things like cobwebs, dead bugs, stale air, and dirt brought in by people touring the property.

You cannot always count on a Realtor to turn off every light, straighten chairs, plump pillows, and close closet doors when necessary. If you live too far away to check the property you are selling, someone else should.

Once you have staged your home for the real estate market, the game isn't quite over. But the better-looking your home stays, the faster you'll see that offer to buy.