With cooler weather comes the desire to travel – especially this year, given that the past couple of years have included pandemic restrictions.
Whether your clients are taking a holiday to simply get away from it all or they’ve decided to leave after their home has been listed – and there will be open houses and/or showings while they’re away – here’s a checklist so your clients can be sure their homes are safe and sound, and easy on the eyes, and they can return without any worries.
10 key things to do before leaving on vacation
Call the insurance company
Insurance policies often become void if a property is left vacant for a certain amount of days without someone checking in. Regardless of what the insurance company says, it’s good sense to have someone make sure all is well while occupants are away. You never know when the furnace could stop working, pipes freeze, roofs leak, etc., so it’s always better to be prepared
Clean out the fridge
Throw out or freeze anything that could spoil during the vacation. No one wants to return to a stinky fridge or open up a fridge containing rotten foods during an open house.
Take out the garbage, compost and recycling
This is a great way to ensure the home remains fresh-smelling while vacant.
Not only can this help save money on hydro bills, but it’s also a good practice to help prevent fires.
Many smart thermostats have the capability to set a range of temperatures– from the lowest to the highest preferred, such as no lower than 15C or no higher than 25C. Of course, if open houses and showings occur during this time, choosing a more comfortable medium daytime temperature is ideal, such as 18 to 20C in winter and 22 to 24C in summer.
Put lights on timers
This is a great way to prevent others from knowing the home is vacant.
Hire someone to shovel the driveway/walkway
This is a great job for a local kid to make some extra money. They can also be the same person who checks in on the home during vacation time as well as clears away flyers, mail, packages, etc., so it’s not obvious that the home is vacant.
Check windows and doors
All windows and doors should be securely closed and locked. Many people still open windows in cooler weather, for instance, for some fresh air while sleeping, so don’t take this task for granted, even if it’s winter.
Check the washer and dryer
Rushing around getting ready for vacation can often leave people absentminded. It would be terrible for your clients to return home to find mouldy clothes in the washer or dryer because they were really wet or even damp throughout the duration of the holiday.
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to set time aside to ensure the home is tidy upon return, especially if open houses or showings will take place while the home is vacant.
Scheduling enough time in advance to ensure all of the tasks above have been addressed before a vacation will help reduce stress and ensure the home is welcoming upon return.
Darci Campbell is a Regional Owner and member of the National Leadership Team at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, as well as the owner of multiple businesses. As a Canadian businesswoman, entrepreneur and investor, she’s driven by helping other entrepreneurs grow their companies through creative thinking and consistent efforts. She can be reached through the company’s website.