We just put out eight blogs on staging your home, all of which assume that you have stuff in your home and that you are going to continue to live in it while it is on the market. Maybe some of you are saying ‘but this doesn’t apply to me, I have already cleared out everything and staging is not necessary, its vacant, just go sell it!’
Let’s get real here, vacant homes benefit from staging in ways that directly hit your bottom line. The statistics are clear, homes sell faster and at higher prices if they are staged and that applies to both occupied and unoccupied homes. Assuming you like the idea of getting more money in a shorter time, read on!
Leaving a home vacant is risky. Listing a vacant home for sale increases the risk astronomically, it advertises to the world that it is vacant. Needless to say, it is important that our ‘Wise Sellers’ get their vacant homes SOLD quickly.
Selling a vacant house poses interesting and unique challenges:
- It is more difficult for buyers to connect with a vacant house. The goal with staging is to have potential buyers visualize themselves living in your home. This is hard to accomplish in a vacant home.
- Empty rooms appear smaller than they are. The theory behind this is that human brains judge the size of things in relation to other, familiar, things. If there is nothing releatable in the room, the brain has nothing to go on except edges and corners.
- It is said that only 10% of people can visualize the potential of a home. This means that only 10% of your potential buyers will be able to connect with your vacant space.
- Potential buyers will look around a vacant home quickly and leave as quickly as possible, there is after all, nothing to see. The problem with this is that you want potential buyers to stay as long as possible.
- When you give potential buyers nothing to focus on, they will find details that interest them, in most cases this means they will focus on old and chipped paint, scuff marks, dirt, none of which are things that make your home appealing!
Here are our suggestions:
- Clean, clean, clean – your home needs to be spotless and stay that way until it is under contract. If you’re not able to do this yourself, we have several great cleaners we can recommend.
- Kitchen and Bathrooms – because there is no furniture required in these rooms, they can be easily staged with a limited number of decorative accessories. In the kitchen, a large bowl of good looking fake fruit, cookbooks, oven mitts, small kitchen related things that look decorative, add color and life. Remember to make groups of 1, 3 and 5 items. The same thing in the bathrooms, decorative items should be bathroom related, like towels, soaps, lotions and again, in uneven numbered groups.
- Avoid Confusion: Due to the general inability of people to visualize, it is important that you stage rooms where it is not crystal clear where furniture items should go. For example, in a family room, you may need to add furniture to show potential buyers how to set it up to watch TV, really! If you have a room in which the use is not obvious, you are better off staging it to give potential buyers options than leaving them there asking what the space could possibly be used for. It may be obvious to you and me that a room that does not have a closet is perfect for an office or games room or a plethora of other possibilities, but remember, almost 90% of people do not have that ability! For rooms like this, you can borrow, or rent furniture that will tell the story.
- Paint: Have a look around and see if a coat or two of paint will spruce the rooms up. Fresh paint in warm neutral tones and even accent walls will go a long way to making your home look more inviting.
- Finishing Touches: Inevitably you will be left with some empty rooms. Consider putting a couple of brightly colored chairs and a lamp or a table in the corner of the room, you will be shocked at how it adds color and perspective to a room. A tall plant and a few cushions strategically placed in a corner will work too.
- Repair & Perfect: Keep in mind that if your home is vacant, greater emphasis needs to be used to ensure that all remaining areas of your home are perfect. Look at your cabinetry and its hardware, do you need to add or change hardware (knobs and pulls). Check out all “working” parts; are all your switches working properly, are all lightbulbs lighting-up? Fridge, stove, washer, dryer, are they all in good working order? Have you made all necessary repairs?
As a final word of caution, do not lose sight of the fact that your home is more vulnerable because it is vacant, security cameras are a lot less expensive now than they were in the past. Seriously consider investing in some cameras that will allow you to monitor what is happening in your home on a 24/7 basis. Also, do not forget to let your insurance company know that you have moved out and that your home will be vacant until it is sold. They may be fine with that but be ready to add an inexpensive rider that ensures you have coverage during this period.
That’s it for today’s post, if you want more information on staging a house with no furniture or if you want to stay up to date on all things Anthem, make sure you like our Facebook Page at ‘Wise Move AZ’ or subscribe to our Wise Move AZ channel on YouTube.
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Remember, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell their home, please give us a call! It’s always the right time to make a wise move with the Wise Move AZ Team.