Security Tips for Unoccupied Property

by Joe N. Pollifrone 07/05/2021

Sometimes the timelines for buying and selling a home don’t match up perfectly. You may have purchased a new home or need to move before you can sell your current residence. In these cases, your property may remain empty for varied stretches of time. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure while you’re away from the property.

Keep Your Utilities Running

It is an extra expense to keep paying for a utility bill on a property you do not occupy, but it’s ideal for security. Electricity, in particular, allows for the use of lights to create the impression of occupancy. Consider using lights you can set to a timer — ensure the lights come on at appropriate times in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Installing exterior motion detector lights will turn on your lights when someone comes within range of the sensor. 

If your home is vacant during the winter months, you will want to keep the heat running to avoid issues like frozen pipes. You can maintain the temperature with a programmable thermostat or one that you can connect to remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.

Maintain Your Security System

If you have one, maintain your security system until the next occupant moves in. Let the security company, as well as your local police department, know that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have in place, the better the protection for your property. Having a security system in place can notify you and the local authorities if there is unusual activity on your property. Notice of a security system often serves as a deterrent for keeping criminals away.

Keep the Yard Neat

Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and keep the landscape looking tidy. If you leave your yard looking untidy and unkempt, it is a visual cue to passersby that the house is vacant. If the weather is cold, plan for snow and ice removal to ensure the property is accessible.

Your unoccupied home is a financial asset until it is sold to someone as their forever home. Keep it in the best condition possible until you transfer ownership. If your property may be vacant for an extended period, it's helpful to arrange for a property management service to monitor your home.

About the Author
Author

Joe N. Pollifrone

For over 30 years, Joe Pollifrone has practiced real estate full-time as a licensed Real Estate Broker in California. Joe’s vast sales experience includes duplexes, tri-plexes, four-plexes, apartment buildings, land, condominiums, townhomes, fixer-uppers, estate properties, and bank-owned properties (REOs). He also is active in selling non-owner occupied properties and is well-versed in 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, property management, tenant/landlord issues, and local laws. During Joe’s career to date, he has sold in excess of $200,000,000 of real estate, including over $32,000,000 in REOs. 

Joe brought his deep experience to Sereno Group Willow Glen as a Broker Associate in 2012. He was the Sales Manager and lead a top-producing office. Joe would mentor new Sereno hires, making sure that they’re comfortable with the ethos of the office, plugged into Sereno’s network of contacts, and well-versed in the technology required of today’s real estate professionals. 

Joe prides himself on his proven ability to negotiate, extensive knowledge of contracts, and securing close of escrows in a timely manner. Both he and his clients credit his success to effective communication skills, honesty, and hard work. Joe is a native of San Jose and resides in Willow Glen with his wife of twenty-seven years, Kimi, his daughters Milan and Micaela and their two Goldendoodles, Tony-Luca and Marco.