Top Five Reasons Vacant Homes are Tough to Sell

Real Estate Agent with Coastal Properties Group International

RISMedia Real Estate News

5 Reasons Vacant Homes are Tough to Sell in Today’s Market

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RISMEDIA, April 12, 2010—A vacant house is like a vacant stare. Something is just not right.

Trying to sell a vacant house adds obstacles and depresses the sales price, says Showhomes, a nationally franchised home staging company. Showhomes uses live-in home stagers to lower the cost of staging and produce faster home sales. Take a look at their top five reasons why selling a vacant house is often a mistake in today’s market:

1. People don’t simply buy houses; they buy the next chapter of their lives.
This is an emotional experience and emotion influences what people buy and how much they will pay. Vacant houses are devoid of life, and the chance to make an emotional connection is lost.

2. Vacancy distracts buyers from looking at the house itself.
They wonder: “Is this a divorce? Why did they move out? Are they selling because they have money problems? Is this home hard to sell?” They’ll make a low-ball offer, thinking the owner is desperate.

3. When a house is vacant, buyers focus on flaws.
They look at nail holes, carpet wear and gaps in the molding rather than how the space works. In a vacant house, floors, walls and ceilings are all the buyers see. This drives the price down.

4. People can’t visualize how furniture fits.
An empty bedroom might appear awkward or a living room might seem cavernous. Some spaces might confuse buyers because a use is not obvious. Buyers are derailed and move on to the next house.

5. Vacant houses don’t show as well as staged and occupied homes.
Without people, even the best home quickly looks and smells vacant. Dust settles, leaves scatter, and stale smell spreads. These cues often shorten the showing time, leading to fewer sales.

“Home owners don’t realize how much harder a vacant home is to sell. In today’s market, you have to win the beauty contest,” says Thomas Scott, VP of Marketing at Showhomes. “Vacant houses simply underperform staged homes and the increased sales price provides an excellent return on what staging costs. Choosing to stage your home should be an easy decision in today’s market.”

Comments (6)

Kathy Toth
Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team

I do believe in staging.  Every one of my clients gets a visit from a stager if they want this service. It is a price war and a bueauty contest; don't you agree?

Apr 11, 2010 10:46 PM
Catherine Chaudemanche - Edison & Central NJ
Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ - Edison, NJ
Full Time, Informed and Involved- Results Driven

Thank you Jan, this is good information-

Apr 11, 2010 10:51 PM
Katie McBride
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
The McBride Team

Staging can make a huge difference in how the buyers perceive the living space.

Apr 11, 2010 11:28 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing. Hope you have an outstanding week.

 Maryland Daffodils

Apr 11, 2010 11:52 PM
Jan Whitlow, ASPM
Coastal Properties Group International - Indian Rocks Beach, FL

Kathy, Catherine, Katie & Roy,

Thank you for stopping by my blog!  Kathy you are right its a beauty contest out there.  Price drives the interest while Staging drives the offers.  If we in the Home Staging community could only drive home the point that Staging is an investment --- a wise one --- it will make the difference in days on the market hence reduce the cost of carrying a property during the listing period.

Thank you each for your positive comments on Home Staging!

Have a wonderFULL Week ALL!!  

Apr 12, 2010 12:51 AM
Chuck Marunde
Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate - Sequim, WA
Sequim Real Estate Broker

Thanks Jan.  Great article and points. 

Sep 24, 2010 03:25 AM