Staging Can Be a Great Investment
Sellers often don’t see the value of staging. We’ve heard, “somebody’s buying the house – not the stuff in it!” While that’s true, it’s tough for most of us to envision what a room can be without seeing a furnished version. Furnishing an unoccupied home can greatly increase your odds of selling, so keep reading if you’re serious about getting that house sold.
A few great reasons to try staging
- The search starts online
Entire houses are often painted in a single interior paint color, and guess what? Buyers looking at photos online will have no idea what room they’re looking at. Your empty, neutral house isn’t likely to get buyers excited to see the property. With buyers starting their searches online, you’re certain to miss out on showings when your property has a less than memorable online presentation.
- Empty rooms highlight imperfections
When a room is empty, buyers are more likely to focus on the negative features. There’s no way to hide the flaws, and even normal wear and tear stands out. The buyer who is looking for “move in ready” will be making a mental list of updates and repairs needed instead of noticing the home’s positive features. When buyers choose a house that they view as needing work, they will never pay as much as they would for a home that looks move-in ready when they view it. The market value doesn’t matter to the buyer – a house is only worth what it’s worth to them.
- Most of us can’t see the potential
Buyers can’t visualize what a room would look like with furniture, or even what furniture will fit in a room. Believe it or not, empty rooms appear smaller than those with furniture. Where do we put the TV? Which way should the couch face? What size bed will fit in this room?
- The intended use isn’t always obvious
This is especially true of homes with open floor plans, those with multiple living areas, or older houses that have had walls removed but still retain some component that defines the spaces. A staging professional will target these areas specifically so a buyer will be able to imagine living in the home.
- Lack of emotional appeal
Buying a house is an emotional decision, and the most appealing homes convey a lifestyle that the buyer can relate to. If a home feels warm and inviting, buyers will develop an emotional connection to the house much more quickly.
- Vacant homes take longer to sell and tend to sell for less
This goes back to #2 – buyers AND agents alike are noticing the imperfections and seeing your home as less valuable than the competition. Buyers who see the flaws in your home assume that you’re inflexible on price since you didn’t either improve the property or start with a lower listing price. As time goes by, the showings become more spread out and eventually the seller starts thinking about renting the property as an alternative. Well, guess what? It’s going to look even worse when that tenant moves out. Sellers often say that a property isn’t costing them anything sitting vacant while listed, but even if there’s no mortgage, there are still expenses such as property taxes, insurance, and HOA fees. On top of that, even the tightest of sellers is typically paying for lawn care, cleaning fees, and regular maintenance on top of that.
Look at staging your vacant home as an investment, rather than as an expense. A listing is never as exciting as it is the first month on the market. Don’t make the mistake of listing your home vacant to test the waters — If you decide to stage the property after a few months with no offers, it might be too late to have much of an impact!
How do these empty rooms make you feel?