Monday, April 4, 2016

Why Your Empty House Won't Sell

While it is possible to sell an empty house, it is rare. If you have ever tried to sell a vacated house absent of its furnishings, you have likely experienced this first hand - numerous buyers passing on the home, and feedback that makes no sense to you. What do you mean the bedrooms look small? The living room isn't an awkward layout! Since you have lived in the house, you know how great it looks when it’s fully furnished and decorated, and you understand how each room should be set up. The trick is in helping your buyers to understand this.

Unfortunately, the ability to visualize a space is a skill that not everyone has. In fact, only about 10% of your prospective buyers have this ability to properly visualize a space beyond what they see in front of them. This means when you are selling a vacant home, you’re missing out on 90% of potential market! Vacant homes will often take much longer to sell than a properly staged home (72% longer in fact, according to RESA®’s 2014 survey). Not only does furnishing a home properly help buyers to understand the optimal placement for their furniture, but it will allow them to connect on an emotional level as well. It’s not just about having furniture in a house in order to help buyers to visualize it, but it’s about merchandising the home, and selling the experience of living there.

To do this, each room needs to first be clearly defined. This means showing buyers what the intended purpose and use of each room in the home is, whether it’s a bedroom, an office, a dining room, or a gathering room. Defining this intent, and showcasing this one use for the space, will allow buyers to flow more easily from room to room when viewing the home, without having to stop and think in each room about how they would use it.

What is home staging? Home staging is a complete process for preparing a home for sale. The goal of home staging is to clearly define the space, show proper scale, and create an emotional connection for buyers. This is achieved through updates and repairs, eliminating distractions from the home, proper furnishing, arranging, accessorizing, and essentially, merchandising of the space.

Have you ever ordered an item online, and when you received it you realized that it wasn’t quite the size that you thought that it was? The online site probably gave you the dimensions for the item, but you didn’t fully understand its size from the photo that they provided you with. Now, you’ve probably seen something like this, and perhaps have even done this yourself when taking a photo:

You take a commonly known object, and place it next to the item that you’re trying to show the size of. Now lets take this back to your empty house. Vacant rooms will often tend to look smaller than they actually are to your prospective buyers, especially since 92% of these buyers are first viewing your property online (National Association of REALTORS® 2014 REPORT), and these photographs can be deceptive in vacant rooms. By showing that a queen size bed with nightstands fits in a bedroom for example, or a full size sofa in the sitting room, you’re helping buyers to understand how they could furnish the rooms, and you are giving them an incentive to come and visit the home to see for themselves.

When viewing an empty home online, it is especially difficult for your buyers to connect to the home and feel invited in, and they are less likely to even visit it. Why do you think that homebuilders prepare a model home for their buyers? They understand that their buyers want the experience of being able to walk around the home, instead of just viewing a black and white floor plan. In fact, most homebuilders will tell you that most of their buyers purchase the finishes that they have shown in their model property.

As home stagers, it is not uncommon for the buyers of homes that we have staged to contact us to purchase the items that we used in staging it, or to help them to purchase items similar to those that we used. They loved it so much when they walked through, that they wanted to buy it all!

A house that is not properly furnished will distract buyers, thus disrupting this natural flow. Buyers want to easily flow from room to room in a house. In an empty house, each room requires additional time (and energy) to discuss the proper use, the size of the room, what will fit, what won’t fit, and where to position it. They’ll then need to attempt to visualize what all of that will look like, which is challenging to 90% of the population. Making your buyers do this much work usually leads to a longer time on market, price reductions, and a whole lot of avoidable stress on your part.

Help your buyers connect with the home by having it professionally staged. This will help to answer all of your buyer questions, so that the only question remaining is how soon can we write up an offer? At Beyond The Stage Homes, we specialize in staging your vacant home. We offer the largest independent inventory selection in the Region, with great rental terms (ask us how to get your second month of staging rentals for FREE)!

Did you know? The investment in home staging is always less than the first price reduction. In addition, an investment in home staging means less time on the market, and therefore lowers your carrying costs for the house.

Contact Beyond The Stage Homes today to find out how to get your property sold!

Phone: +1 (226) 240-0766

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