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A Guide On Selling Abandoned Property

Do you own an abandoned property? Have you ever considered selling? In 2018 nearly 18% of Florida housing units were sitting vacant, that is roughly 1.7 million abandoned homes. If you own one of those abandoned properties selling right now would be a good idea. Currently, the housing market is holding strong in Gainesville and has seen an increase of 8.4% in home values, making it an ideal time to consider parting ways with your abandoned property. So instead of holding on to something that could be a crime magnet or attract unwelcome guests like squatters, now may be the right time to make a move. But what all goes into selling an abandoned property? Are there buyers out there looking for a home in this condition? Below we’ll cover all you need to know about selling an abandoned property in Gainesville and much more! 

How To Sell An Abandoned Property In Gainesville

an abandoned property for sale

What is an Abandoned Property?

Abandoned property can mean several different things. Most people think of an abandoned house as a distressed home that is falling apart with boarded-up windows, doors, and an overgrown yard. Other definitions of an abandoned property could simply be a house that someone moved out of, sitting empty, overall in decent condition, with a regularly maintained yard. Another example of an abandoned residence could be an untouched inherited property left to a relative full of the previous owner’s belongings. Even a rental house sitting vacant for a while, with some of the previous tenant’s belongings may be considered abandoned. 

Generally, an abandoned property is one that the owner doesn’t live in and is either maintained or left to the elements. 

Maintaining an abandoned property can be costly over time or, if left to nature, could devalue the property after a while. If you own an abandoned property or just a home that is sitting empty, it would be a better idea to consider selling than continuing to worry about the place. The longer the house sits, the more issues that arise and go unnoticed, not to mention it can become susceptible to unwelcome guests and critters. 

Abandoned Property Laws in Florida 

Abandoned property can also be related to a rental property that a tenant was evicted from or just moved out of. 

In this particular scenario, if the home was left with abandoned items, there are specific laws in Florida regarding how you handle removing those pieces of property. Most of the time, the things left are just trash, food, magazines, and soft drink cans. When it’s clear that you’re dealing with garbage, you can dispose of the items. Cleaning tends to go hand in hand with removing trash. So remember that you can deduct the cost of cleaning the rental unit and any necessary repairs from the security deposit. 

Suppose you’re dealing with belongings that have value. In that case, whether that be monetary, sentimental, or medical- for example, furniture, family photos, medicine, or bicycles- you will have to follow specific laws before disposing of these items. Florida has rules regarding when and how you can get rid of a tenant’s abandoned property. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine if the personal property left behind in the rental is abandoned. Consider these two things: has the tenancy been terminated or expired? And did the tenant actually move out of the rental house?

A tenancy can be terminated either by eviction, or the rental agreement expired. In other words, when the landlord stops accepting rent payments after the expiration of the lease or rental agreement and notifies the tenant of the landlord’s desire to terminate the rental agreement- then the tenant can be considered terminated. 

You will also need to determine if the tenant officially moved out of the rental property. If the tenancy has ended and the tenant has moved out of the home, then you should be able to consider the property left behind to be abandoned and take further steps toward disposing of it. 

After making sure the property is abandoned, the next step is to notify the former tenant of the items left behind and your plans to dispose of them if not claimed. You will need to make an inventory of the belongings and store them in a safe place. You can keep the items in the rental, but the home must be safe and secure. Next, you’ll need to give the tenant notice of the things and describe the property in thorough detail so the tenant could reasonably identity them. Your notice should contain the following information: 

  • A description of the abandoned property
  • The location where the tenant can claim the belongings
  • The timeframe the tenant (or owner of the items) has to claim the property
  • A statement that reasonable storage costs will be charged to the tenant and the tenant must pay those costs before claiming the property
  • A statement that if the property is not claimed in time, it will either be sold or disposed of

This notice should be delivered to the tenant in person or by mail at the last known address or an address where you believe the tenant can be reached. When the notice is personally delivered, they will have at least ten days to claim the personal property. If you were to mail the information, the tenant has at least 15 days to claim the items. 

When the property left behind is worth more than $500, and the tenant doesn’t claim it, then you must sell the property at a public auction. You will need to post a notice of the auction in the local newspaper at least once a week for two weeks before the auction. Following the sale, you can use the proceeds to pay for the cost of storage, advertising, and the sale itself, but within thirty days, you must give any leftover money to the treasury of the county in which the sale took place. The tenant can still claim the money from the county for up to a year after. 

If the items are worth less than $500, then you are not required to sell the property. You can either keep it for personal use or dispose of it legally. 

Always check your lease agreement before disposing of any property left behind. Although you can’t shorten the notice period, the lease terms could require you to give a longer notice before disposing of the property. 

If you have any doubts about determining abandon property or disposing of stuff left behind, always seek the advice of a Florida lawyer. That way you follow the legal process and protect yourself. 

Just make sure to take care of this before selling the abandoned property or be prepared to rent a storage unit for the tenant’s belongings to be stored while the home is on the market. 

Can You Sell an Abandoned Property in Gainesville?

Whether you inherited a property no one is living in, or a house you own has been sitting empty for several years, you can sell an abandoned house in Gainesville. 

The first thing you will need to do in preparation to sell, though, is figure out what is going on with the property. Hiring a home inspector to do a thorough inspection of the home will give you a better understanding of what repairs are needed. Certain renovations can be expensive and time-consuming, so you will need to make sure those fit into your budget and the time frame you’d like to sell. 

It’s not uncommon for houses sitting empty to have a leaky roof that caused water damage and then mold to grow. Critters or pests can be another issue with abandoned properties. Unless you’re keeping a close eye on the place, issues can go undetected easily and become bigger problems if not caught early. 

Once your home inspection comes back, figure out how you would like to handle home repairs. You can either do some of the repairs on your own, hire someone to do them, or try selling the house as-is to avoid the hassle. 

You will also need to consider how much you’d like to spend and how soon you would like to list. If you live close to the abandoned house, you could probably do some of the minor repairs on your own or with the help of YouTube. If there are several major restorations to address, hiring a professional would be best. Keep in mind larger fixes can take some time to complete, so if you want to sell your house fast, you may need to look for another selling option.

A lot of homeowners in this situation are finding selling as-is to be the best solution- letting the next owner deal with the cost of repairs and the time frame to complete them. 

Tips for Selling an Abandoned Property in Florida

If you plan on moving forward with repairs to get the house ready to sell, below are some additional tips to help you sell an abandoned property. 

Tip 1: Highlight the Houses Best Features 

Make sure it’s emphasized to buyers if your abandoned property is in a great neighborhood, on a quiet street, or excellent school district. Also, make sure to talk about the home features for example if it has an open floor plan, pool, or screened-in porch. These are all great selling points to make to potential buyers.

Tip 2: Clean, Declutter, Stage

If the house still has inherited belongings inside or is full of stuff or trash, make sure to clean and declutter. Even if the house has been sitting empty, cleaning will be necessary to remove dust, dirt, and cobwebs. 

You can either do the work with a couple of friends or family members or hire a professional cleaning company. There are also professional organizers that would be able to help you declutter the place. Once you’ve gone through everything you can store any extra items in a storage unit or hold a yard sale if you don’t plan on keeping anything. 

After the house is cleaned and decluttered, you’ll want to do some staging. Paint any rooms that have bold colors to a more neutral tone would be a good idea. If the home is completely empty, usually houses show better with furnishings. So you may want to consider staging the house with some rented pieces of furniture. Updating light fixtures, faucets, and/or kitchen appliances would be a nice touch as well. 

While you’re staging the inside of the home don’t forget to add some curb appeal to the exterior. Since your house has been sitting abandoned, the yard may need some much-deserved attention. Remove any items or trash in the yard, mow the lawn, weed the flower beds, and cut back in overgrown bushes. Power wash the walkways and house to remove any moss or dirt. Touch up paint on the mailbox and front door and make sure the front porch light doesn’t need to be replaced. To add some finishing touches, consider getting a new welcome mat and potted flowers to put by the front door and make sure the street address is clearly visible. These simple touches can go a long way in making your abandoned house look warm and welcoming. 

whats your home worth sign with crumpled papers around

Tip 3: Price the House Right

To sell an abandoned house in Gainesville, you’ll want to price the house right to sell. If your price is too high, you may turn potential buyers away. If you price too low, you may miss out on profits or lead buyers into thinking something is majorly wrong with the house for it to be priced so low. 

The best way to determine the true value of your abandoned house is to hire an appraiser. The appraiser will take a look at a few factors when determining the value of your abandoned house. He or she will look at comparable home sales in the area, the condition of your house, any upgrades you’ve made, and more to determine what your house is worth. Their opinion is helpful because it’s unbiased and will give you a better idea of what to list your house for in Gainesville. 

Final Takeaways

Whatever situation you find yourself in, either dealing with an abandoned rental property or inherited a home that’s been sitting empty, the good news is you can sell, and now is a great time to do it! For a lot of people selling as-is proves to be the best selling scenario in this particular situation. When a house has been sitting for a while there could be several things going on with the place that can be costly to fix. 

Instead of letting the house just sit there, selling it would give you cash in hand and peace of mind that you don’t need to worry about the place any longer. Plus selling to someone that wants to live there and make the house into a home is rewarding in itself. 

Ideally, selling as-is would be an excellent selling option that doesn’t include spending money on expensive repairs. But finding the right buyer to take on an abandoned property will be key to selling quickly. 

One such buyer that purchases homes in Gainesville is: Sell Your Gainesville Home Today. They are a home buying company that purchases houses in as-is condition all the time and has a team in place to handle repairs. 

What is fantastic about working with Sell Your Gainesville Home Today is that they can make you a cash offer for your abandoned house within 24-hours and close within 7 days- elevating months of uncertainty that’s common with traditional home sales. 

Also, since they buy in as-is condition, you won’t need to spend money on costly repairs, cleaning, decluttering, or staging. Just take the items you wish to, and they’ll take care of the rest. 

Working with Sell Your Gainesville Home Today has helped many people dealing with selling an abandoned house. If you’re interested in finding out more about their home buying process and more about their company, visit their website for more information.

They also don’t charge realtor commissions or service fees and will even help pay closing costs. 

Instead of stressing out about how you will handle repairs and sell your abandoned house in Gainesville, talk to Sell Your Gainesville Home Today and avoid the hassle. 

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