Over the years that I have been a Realtor, I have sold many homes. I can say with certainty that it is much easier to sell a home with furniture than vacant and empty. Here’s why:
Six reasons why you should not sell your home vacant and empty
1. Vacant and empty homes lead to low-ball offers
Buyers are always wondering about the motivation of the sellers. “Why are they selling?” is one of homebuyer’s top ten questions, maybe top 5! (How long has it been on the market? is another top question Realtors get asked about our listings all the time.)
Why do you think that is?
I’ll tell you why. It is because buyers are always trying to figure out the motivation of sellers. They are trying to judge the desperation of sellers to see how open they will be to a low-ball offer. Vacant homes give buyers the impression that you ‘need’ to sell. You give the impression that you have moved on and now the house is just sitting there costing you money.
2. A house is not a home
I’ve noticed that many homebuyers have a hard time buying pre-construction homes off plan (from the blueprints and builder marketing material). They find the spaces hard to picture. That’s why builder’s have model homes.
When you visit model homes you will find that they are staged with furniture. Why do you think that is? Vacant and empty homes seem cold and unwelcoming. Empty homes are just houses, empty shells.
3. Help buyer visualize themselves living there
Also, just like above, (buying off plan) most people have a hard time visualizing how the space will be used. As home sellers, help the buyers understand the true potential of your home by leaving furniture there to help them understand how they and their furniture will fit into the house and how suitable it will be to their lifestyle.
4. Spotlight the fabulous, hide the flaws
You don’t want to try to sell your home vacant and empty as any and all of the house’s flaws will be on open display for all to see. Staging a home helps not only accentuate the positive, but also diverts attention from the negative.
5. Staged little homes seem bigger
Houses and condo units are getting smaller and smaller. As such so is furniture. If you are selling a a small house or condo unit, it will appear much smaller if empty than if furnished with appropriate ‘condo sized’ furniture.
6. Help buyers understand the purpose of the rooms and spaces
When working with home sellers, they often ask about decluttering. I always say that most people can get rid of about 1/3 of their furniture. Essentially, I tell home sellers to define the space so that every room has a purpose. It should be easy for buyers to understand where the living room ends and the dining room begins. Home buyers should be lead to the obvious — that every room has one and only one purpose.
Two quick tips about home staging
How to sell a vacant home