Home sellers: Vacant homes sell for $11K less than occupied ones

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

The price home sellers pay

Moving out before your home’s off the market could come back to haunt you. According to a new analysis, vacant homes sell for $11,000 less than homes that are occupied. The damage is even worse in certain parts of the country.

Verify your new rate (May 31st, 2020)

Vacant vs. occupied

According to a new analysis from Redfin, vacant houses sell for $11,306 less than comparable homes that are occupied.

Vacant homes also take six days longer to sell than occupied ones.

Redfin’s chief economist Daryl Fairweather explains, “Although vacant homes are easy for buyers to tour at their convenience, the fact that the sellers have already moved on is often a signal to buyers that they can take their time making an offer. It’s also likely that sellers who are in a comfortable enough financial situation to own a property that’s sitting empty aren’t as motivated to get the highest possible price for their home as sellers who need the cash from their first home in order to buy the next one.”

Where sellers lose out the most

The problem is worse in certain areas of the country. According to the analysis, home sellers in Omaha, Nebraska, and Greenville, South Carolina, take the biggest financial hit. There, vacant homes sell for 7.2 percent less than those that are occupied, amounting to around $15,000.

Sellers in El Paso, Texas, also lose out, with vacant houses selling for around 6.6 percent less (or $10,000.)

The discrepancy is smallest in San Jose, California, where vacant homes sell for just 0.9 percent less than occupied ones. According to Redfin agent Chad Eng, vacant properties actually sell quicker in some parts of California.

“When the Bay Area real estate market is ultra-competitive like it was in 2018, vacant homes tend to sell faster than the ones occupied by their owners or tenants,” Eng said. “Vacant homes are accessible 24-7, which means homebuyers can see them and put in an offer quickly in hopes of beating out other potential buyers.”

Las Vegas and Orange County, California, are also on the smaller side, with discrepancies of just 1.5 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Verify your new rate (May 31st, 2020)

Get today’s mortgage rates

Are you selling your home and moving up? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (May 31st, 2020)