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True or False...Leaving a vacant home vacant will help the home sell faster?

Home Stager with Design Appeal Home Staging

FALSE!  Vacant homes actually are taking twice as long to sell because people can't visualize what the home would or should look like furnished, therefore they don't see themselves living in it. Only 10% of people have the ability to visualize a homes... potential leaving 90% of buyers thinking what I see is what I get.  Empty rooms actually appear smaller than those with furniture.  It is difficult to determine the size, scale and purpose of a room.  Not to mention the home feels sterile, cold and uninviting.  When rooms are empty, buyer will focus on that crack in the wall or the chip in the paint.  It's important to create warmth by bringing in just the right amount of staging accessories and furniture.  Too many furnishings can distract buyers.

Comments (7)

Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

You are so right! I definitely agree with you - another reason to stage is when the house is filled with "grandparent" furniture! 

Nov 01, 2010 02:26 PM
Dave Gubler
Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Ladera Ranch - Lake Forest, CA
Realtor | Orange County

The caveat here is that if a home is decorated atrociously (I know we all have our own tastes!) and/or really filthy (again... everyone's standards are different) then I have to believe it would be better vacant.  Just my anecdotal experience.

My most recent buyer transaction corroborates this.  Showed hime two homes one fine Saturday... one was occupied but the folks living there had a very "different" opinion of clean and their tastes were, well.... offensive to most I would imagine.

Second home we saw was vacant... and now we are in escrow on it.

Assuming relative good taste (STAGING anyone!) and cleanliness I agree that occupied is superior to vacant for the reasons you outlined in your post.

Nov 01, 2010 02:28 PM
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

Staging correctly can certainly help to sell a home but I find it more difficult to sell a home that is cluttered than a home that is vacant.  Just as many people cannot visualize what to do with empty rooms, there are others who cannot see past the furnishings in a home that they find unattractive.  Also, the use of space can be distracting and make it difficult for people to imagine using a dining area as an office or vice versa.  In the end, it really comes down to the buyer.  They either have imagination or they don't, they can either see through what is there or they can't.  My experience is that my vacant listings have always sold faster than those that were furnished with the owner's belongings.  Just goes to prove that one man's ceiling is another man's floor.

Nov 01, 2010 02:29 PM
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

I would love to agree with you, but sadly, I find that the buyers I have been working with lately are looking at so many vacant homes that they actually are preferring them to owner-occupied or staged.  I have seen it work against the owners when they have oversized furniture, and some stagers have tastes that don't work with the potential buyers....it is all a matter of preference, I guess, either way. 

I certainly long for the "old days" when we could just stage the home, and it would sell right away. 

Nov 01, 2010 02:31 PM
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH

I'm a fan of staging as long as the staging adds value - - the furniture is neutral & of recent vintage.  Sometimes vignettes are good, when there is not enough furniture to stage the whole home.

Nov 01, 2010 02:40 PM
Ted Tyrrell
RE/MAXCamosun (Chatterton) - Victoria, BC
Selling Homes in Beautiful Victoria

Whenever I see a vacant home, I think low price offer!  It's as simple as that.  All kinds of thoughts go through my head, but the most dominant is the one that says the seller is going to get more desperate as time marches on.

Nov 01, 2010 04:41 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Teri - I think, well staged home sells faster. Thanks you for sharing a very good blog

Nov 01, 2010 05:20 PM