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How Vacancy Impacts Home Sales

Vacant homes sell for less and take longer to sell, according to a recent report from Redfin. Redfin’s analysis revealed that vacant homes sell for $11,306 less and spend six more days on the market than comparable occupied homes.

“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,” said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist for Redfin. “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.”

Redfin notes that in every metro analyzed, vacant homes sell for less money than occupied homes, though the difference varied by location. For example,  Omaha, Nebraska, and Greenville, South Carolina, both saw the biggest gap between occupied and vacant home prices, with vacant homes selling for 7.2 percent, or about $15,000, less on average than occupied homes.

While vacant homes are still discounted in West Coast cities, they typically experience a smaller price differential on average. In San Jose, buyers get the smallest discount on vacant homes, which sell for just 0.9 percent less than homes that aren’t vacant, followed by Las Vegas (-1.5%) and Orange County (-2.3%).

While most markets see vacant homes take longer to sell than occupied homes, San Jose flips the script. In San Jose, vacant homes spend an average of one and a half fewer days on the market than occupied homes.

“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,” said Redfin Agent Chad Eng. “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.”

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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