Which sells better?
Well, if you’re a real estate agent, then it may be no surprise that vacant homes do not sell as well as those that are occupied or professionally staged. A study from the Appraisal Institute found that vacant houses sold for 6% less than occupied houses and stayed on the market longer (time is money!).
Actually, there are a number of reasons. Even simple things such as rooms can appear smaller when empty and imperfections are more noticeable. It all comes down to the reality that buyers are automatically drawn to a space that they can envision themselves living in. Therefore, the goal is to create a space that the majority of buyers want to occupy.
First, it’s helpful to know that over 90% of homes are first discovered by buyers online, according to Realtor.com. This means the first impression and initial opportunity to sell a vision of what the home could be for a buyer generally occurs online with the photos and media provided by the agent. You can accomplish this by not only using professional photographs but also utilizing other media like video to create that emotional connection with the viewers.
Secondly, while some homes and condos will be vacant and professional staging is impractical, for homes that are currently occupied, here are some tips to maximize the allure of the space:
- Put away all personal items, declutter the space, and keep some tasteful, neutral decorations. This goes a long way in creating that warm and inviting space for as many people as possible.
- Rearrange the furniture. What is comfortable to live in isn’t always the most pleasing to the eye. Moving around some furniture in the living room or bedrooms can go along way to improving the allure of the space.
- If the owners have moved out, make sure to leave the utilities on for showings. Also, if the home sits on the market for a while – hire a cleaner to make sure it stays in good shape.
Lastly, if owners are considering moving out before their house has sold, hopefully the points above may convince them of the benefit of staying. Remaining in the house can obviously maximize the sale price compared to a vacant house. It would also save on staging costs, provide for more timely handling of any emergencies, and be less of a risk for break-ins or vandalism.