Selling an Empty House in California: Insider Tips

Selling an empty house in California can present unique challenges and opportunities. An empty house can sometimes be harder to sell because potential buyers may have difficulty envisioning themselves living there. However, with the right approach, selling an empty house can also be an opportunity to showcase the property’s potential.

Empty homes often linger longer on the market compared to furnished or staged ones. If you’re feeling the pressure to sell fast, Sell Quick California has the solution for you. We specialize in connecting sellers like you with reputable local agents who can bring you fair cash offers from top buyers in your area.

With our cash offer service, you’ll receive a complimentary home valuation, ensuring transparency and peace of mind throughout the process. Don’t let an empty house dampen your selling prospects. Get in touch with us today to explore your options and secure a swift sale!

Why Vacant Homes Linger on the Market Longer Research conducted by the Appraisal Institute indicates that unoccupied residences in Sell Quick California sell for 6% less than occupied ones, and endure lengthier periods on the market.

Several factors contribute to this phenomenon.

Relying Solely on Price as Your Selling Point When the Home is Unoccupied

Studies by reveal that over 90% of homebuyers initially encounter properties online, with the first impression being formed by uploaded images. These images serve as your prime opportunity to captivate potential buyers—unless your home stands empty. In such cases, it blends into the multitude of vacant properties scrolled through by buyers, diminishing its individuality. Without furnishings, it becomes challenging to set your home apart from others on the market, leaving price as the sole distinguishing factor. Consequently, many sellers of empty homes find themselves compelled to reduce prices to garner attention.

Empty Spaces Tend to Appear Smaller

Ever noticed how objects in a photo can appear disproportionately large without a reference point for scale or depth perception? Similarly, empty rooms may seem smaller to buyers, exerting downward pressure on your home’s perceived value.

Buyers May Perceive an Urgency to Sell

The presence of an asset incurring costs and stress can signal a need for swift sale. Unfortunately, buyers may interpret this as a sign of desperation, potentially leading to lowball offers. This perception is compounded by the likelihood that you genuinely need to sell quickly. While it may seem unjust, an empty house often suggests a motivated seller—even if that’s not the case. Cash-buying entities typically offer around 65% of a home’s actual value, capitalizing on the urgency of sellers in a hurry.

Don’t Appear Desperate

With no furnishings to conceal imperfections, scratches, or dents accumulated over years of occupancy become glaringly apparent. While these minor flaws might not significantly impact a home inspection, they can collectively influence a buyer’s perception, detracting from the overall appeal.

However, all is not lost. By proactively addressing potential obstacles, you can enhance your chances of a successful sale. Focus on leveraging and highlighting your property’s strengths to overcome these challenges.

We’ll concentrate on the following strategies to help you prevail:

  1. Enhancing curb appeal to make a favorable first impression.
  2. Ensuring interior spaces are inviting and spotless.
  3. Implementing security measures to safeguard the property against intruders.

A word of caution: If you’re considering selling your home while vacant, enlist the expertise of a licensed real estate agent proficient in effectively marketing and pricing your property.

To secure the best return on your investment, entrust your sale to top-tier agents in Sell Quick California.

Crafting a Stellar First Impression

In the quest to sell your home swiftly, first impressions wield significant influence. They’re formed in the blink of an eye—often before potential buyers even step out of their vehicles.

Presenting an empty house for sale demands meticulous attention to detail. The last thing you want is to convey neglect, as an unkempt exterior coupled with an empty interior can evoke feelings of abandonment in prospective buyers.

Imagine considering a used car parked by the roadside for weeks on end. While some might entertain the idea, most would demand a compelling bargain.

If attending to the property isn’t feasible, enlist the help of professionals to ensure its upkeep.

Here are some straightforward yet impactful measures you can take:

  1. Freshen up the exterior by painting shutters and house numbers.
  2. Upgrade outdoor lighting for a contemporary aesthetic, subtly implying modernity.
  3. Maintain a well-groomed lawn through regular mowing and edging.

By attending to these details, you can significantly enhance the appeal of your property and leave potential buyers with a lasting positive impression.

Selling an Empty House in California

Enhancing Interior Comfort for Potential Buyers Leave Behind a Selection of Furniture

When staging your home isn’t feasible, consider leaving a few essential pieces of furniture, even if they’re not high-end. Providing a seating area can greatly improve the experience for visitors who have been touring properties all day. Consider leaving a couple of chairs or stools to offer prospects a place to rest.

Consider adding some budget-friendly secondhand furniture to help buyers envision the space.

Ensure Continuity of Utilities

Even if the house is unfurnished, you can still prioritize the comfort of visitors by keeping the utilities running. Maintain functioning lights, fans, and electricity. Set the thermostat to activate the A/C at 80 degrees and the heat at 68 degrees or higher.

Given limited resources, it’s essential to make the house as comfortable as possible. Additionally, keeping the heating and cooling systems operational helps prevent issues like frozen pipes and stale odors.

Regular Interior Cleaning

In addition to maintaining utilities, it’s crucial to address any stagnant odors that can develop over time. Just as you tend to the exterior, hire someone to clean the interior of your house regularly. It’s a relatively inexpensive and quick task but plays a significant role, especially considering that people will be entering the house and potentially tracking in dirt.

Minimizing the chance of a negative experience is key. Therefore, prioritize keeping the house impeccably clean.

Promote Air Circulation with Ceiling Fans

Ensuring proper air circulation is essential to prevent stagnation within the house. Keep ceiling fans running on low to maintain airflow throughout the space.

Avoid Plug-in Air Fresheners

While it’s important to maintain a fresh scent, using plug-in air fresheners in enclosed spaces can be overwhelming, signaling to buyers that you may be masking odors. Instead, focus on regular cleaning to keep the house smelling fresh and inviting, rather than relying on artificial fragrances.

Ensure Your Home’s Security with Sell Quick California

Securing your home goes beyond simply locking the doors. Enhance your home’s security by prominently displaying fake security system stickers.

While it may seem insignificant, the presence of a security system deterrent is a significant deterrent to potential intruders.

Capture Online Listings with Furniture Intact

Before removing furniture, snap photos of your home for online listings. This serves two purposes: it confuses potential burglars scouring real estate sites and helps prospective buyers visualize the space with furnishings.

Although it might appear foolish for burglars to target empty homes, they often contain valuable metals like copper. Presenting your home with furniture suggests occupancy, deterring potential thieves.

During the housing crises of 2005-2009, increased home vacancies led to a surge in burglaries, as per a study by the London School of Economics. For every 1% rise in vacancies, burglary rates increased by 1.21%.

The aftermath of a burglary could result in costly plumbing damage, necessitating expensive repairs or leading to selling your property at a reduced price.

Keep Your Mail in Check

To discourage burglars, ensure your mailbox is regularly emptied. An overflowing mailbox signals prolonged absence, attracting unwanted attention.

According to a University of North Carolina study, approximately 40% of convicted burglars considered houses with newspapers in the driveway and overflowing mailboxes as potential targets.

Arrange for a neighbor or the post office to manage your mail during your absence or have it forwarded to your new address.


Selling an empty home presents challenges, but by creating a positive initial impression, optimizing interior comfort, and deterring burglars, you increase the likelihood of selling it at its full value while avoiding setbacks.

Share your experiences in the comments if you’ve sold an empty or vacant home and the lessons learned.

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Marc Afzal- Real Estate Investor

Marc Afzal is a full time Real Estate Investor and has well over 21+ years in the Real Estate Industry. Marc is a Licensed Broker, NMLS licensed Loan Officer. Marc is currently married to his wife Sheila and they live in Napa California. Marc is enthusiastic about Sports, Golf, Real Estate Investing, Family and Travel.

About Marc Afzal

Marc Afzal is a full time Real Estate Investor and has well over 21+ years in the Real Estate Industry. Marc is a Licensed Broker, NMLS licensed Loan Officer. Marc is currently married to his wife Sheila and they live in Napa California. Marc is enthusiastic about Sports, Golf, Real Estate Investing, Family and Travel.

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