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Sound Off Brian A. Clarke Jr. What precautions should homeowners take if they are away from home?

January 3, 2019 GMT

Winter is upon us here in the Northeast. Are you a “Snowbird” and travel South for warmer weather or do you have a vacant property on the market for sale? Either way it is a great idea and strongly recommended to winterize the home or hire a property manager to oversee the vacant property.

If you are looking to winterize the home, it is strongly encouraged to hire a professional.

Most plumbing companies offer this service. It is important to contact your oil supplier as well if your home is heated with oil. You want to assure your home does not run out of oil and you are on a delivery schedule.

If your home is heated with propane, you will want to assure the same delivery service from your provider. If your home is heated with natural gas, you should still alert your provider as well. If your home is heated with natural gas or propane, it is recommended to turn off the supply to any appliances that may use the gas.

Don’t forget your sprinkler system if you have one. Contact your sprinkler company to perform the winter maintenance and winterizing of the system.

Clean the refrigerator out and throw all food away inside.

Clean out your pantries and spice cabinets to assure there is no food left behind. Because if you do not, you may come home to new tenants such as mice or any other type of animal that may be looking for food and shelter in the winter.

It is recommended to hire an exterminating company as well to treat your attic, basement, garage and overall home for rodents as a preventative.

If you have a property on the market that is winterized and a buyer brings you an offer, it will be a negotiation as to whom de-winterizes the house for the building inspection.

Brian A. Clarke Jr., William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, (203) 246-4771, bclarke@wpsir.com