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Apr 17, 2024 PropStream

How to Find Vacant Properties Using PropStream

What are vacant properties?

Vacant properties are buildings or pieces of real estate that are unoccupied and unused.

From empty houses to desolate storefronts and neglected plots of land, vacant properties can be advantageous leads for real estate professionals.

In this article, we'll delve into the world of vacant properties, exploring why they're a worthwhile lead type for real estate pros and how tools like PropStream's “Vacant” Quick List can revolutionize the hunt for them.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Vacant properties are pieces of real estate that are unused and unoccupied.
  • Vacant properties are appealing to several types of real estate professionals due to their impact on communities and the potential business opportunities they offer.
  • With PropStream, users can generate vacant property lists in just minutes. 

Why Vacant Properties Are Appealing for Real Estate Professionals

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On a grander scale, filling vacant properties offers an opportunity for real estate professionals to help improve their communities. 

Vacant (and abandoned) properties often take a toll on a community, as they can attract various forms of crime (e.g., arson, burglary, and other illegal activities), impacting the property value of surrounding homes. Reducing the number of vacant properties in your region can help you make local neighborhoods more appealing, allowing you to play a part in increasing property value and improving the lives of local homeowners. 

However, there are many other reasons real estate professionals may want to invest their time into vacant property leads. Here’s why specific types of real estate pros may stand to benefit from them:


Firstly, these properties can indicate a motivated seller, such as a tired landlord ready to offload the property. 

Pro Tip: In addition to the Vacant Quick List, set your search criteria to exceed 15 years of ownership to identify tired landlords in PropStream!

This presents an opportunity for investors to negotiate favorable terms and potentially secure the property at a discounted price. Vacant properties also allow landlords to add value by renovating or improving the property to attract tenants. By investing in a vacant property, landlords can capitalize on the potential for higher rental income once the property is leased, maximizing their return on investment.


Vacant property leads are invaluable to fix and flip real estate investors due to the potential for a significant profit. 

Often, vacant properties require some TLC to restore them to their full potential. This presents fix and flip investors with an opportunity to purchase vacant properties at a lower price point and invest in renovations that can dramatically increase the property's market value. By rehabilitating vacant properties and bringing them back to life, flippers can capitalize on the demand for move-in ready homes, maximizing their return on investment when ready to sell.


Vacant properties, burdening owners with ongoing expenses without generating additional income, become prime candidates for quick sales below market value (AKA a wholesaler’s bread and butter). 

Wholesalers may negotiate a discounted contract with the owners of vacant properties before assigning the contracts to investors like landlords or flippers—allowing wholesalers to earn substantial returns without tying up extensive capital or committing to property renovations. 


Vacant property leads provide real estate agents with numerous advantages. 

Firstly, they signal motivated sellers who need to sell but may lack the time or resources to list the property themselves, offering agents prime opportunities to secure listings. By effectively marketing these properties, agents can attract eager buyers seeking move-in-ready homes, boosting their chances of closing a sale. 

Property Managers

Property owners with the capital to consistently invest in properties but who lack the time to manage and/or find tenants to occupy them often lean on property managers for help. 

By leveraging their expertise in finding appropriate tenants and supporting the day-to-day operations of a rental property, property managers may be able to reduce vacancy periods and maximize rental income—freeing investors up to spend more of their time expanding their property portfolios.

How to Make a List of Vacant Properties on PropStream

Now that you know why vacant properties should be on your radar, let’s cover how you can build your vacant properties lists with just four steps using PropStream:

Step 1: Identify Your Target Region

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Search by city, zip code, county, or APN. If you have a specific property in mind that you’d like to check for vacant status, search by an exact address. 

Step 2: Apply the Vacant Quick List


After you’ve chosen a region to search for properties, apply the Vacant Quick List.

Pro Tip: This can be found under the “Filter” dropdown under “Quick List Choices.”

Step 3: Add Supporting Filters

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Want to make your search more specific? Apply additional filters to accompany your Quick List. You can choose filters related to these categories:

  • Occupancy Status
  • Property Characteristics
  • MLS Status
  • Pre-Foreclosure & Bank-Owned
  • Ownership Info
  • Lien/Bankruptcy/Divorce Status
  • Valuation & Equity Info
  • Mortgage Info

Pro Tip: Check out this video tutorial to learn more about searching with PropStream’s filters.

Step 4: Save Results to Marketing Lists

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Once your results populate, add the properties to marketing lists to stay organized—making it easier to research them in-depth later on and create your marketing campaign!

Start Building Your Vacant Properties Lists for Free with PropStream!

If you’re a real estate professional hungry for motivated seller leads, build your first vacant property list for free by activating your PropStream 7-day trial.

Psst! Each 7-day trial includes 50 complimentary leads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the meaning of “vacant property?”

A vacant property refers to a building or piece of real estate that is unoccupied and unused. This could include residential homes, commercial buildings, or land that is not currently being utilized or inhabited by tenants or owners.

How can I find vacant properties in my area?

To find vacant properties in your area, PropStream It!

Simply choose your search region and apply the Vacant Quick List.

What happens to a house when nobody lives in it?

When a house is unoccupied, and nobody lives in it, several things can happen:

  • Maintenance Issues: Without regular occupancy, maintenance tasks such as cleaning and repairs may be neglected. This can lead to property deterioration, like issues with plumbing and electrical systems, pest infestations, and structural damage.
  • Security Risks: Vacant houses are vulnerable to vandalism, break-ins, and squatting. These risks increase without someone living on the property to deter trespassers or monitor for security threats.
  • Property Devaluation: Neglected vacant houses can become eyesores in the neighborhood. Also, as previously mentioned, they may attract crime. These factors contribute to potentially lower property values for surrounding homes. 
  • Legal and Financial Concerns: Depending on local regulations and insurance policies, there may be legal and financial implications associated with leaving a house unoccupied for an extended period. Owners may still be responsible for property taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums, even if the house is vacant.

Are vacant properties and abandoned properties the same?

While these terms are often used interchangeably, vacant and abandoned properties differ.

While vacant properties may be currently uninhabited, they may still have an owner who plans to rent the property out, sell to an owner who can be more involved, etc. In other words, a vacant property is typically still maintained to some degree, and the owner may just be between tenants.

On the other hand, abandoned properties have typically been unoccupied for an extended period, and there is often no apparent owner or occupant. Abandoned properties are also more likely to show signs of neglect and distress, with signals like overgrown vegetation, broken windows, structural deterioration, etc. 

Pro Tip: If you’re an investor interested in pursuing abandoned properties, use PropStream’s Mobile App to Drive for Dollars and track abandoned leads!

Published by PropStream April 17, 2024