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Vacant Home Staging

Should I stage my vacant home?

The following are six reasons why, especially in today's market, it's more important than ever before to stage a vacant home:

1. Make it warm and inviting
Homes that show well are the ones that are warm, inviting, and make an emotional connection with the buyer. Vacant homes rarely accomplish this goal.

2. "Wow" Factor
Buyers have to become emotionally excited when they enter your home. They will make a decision within 30 seconds as to whether your home is right for them. In today’s market they have to go “wow” as they enter each room of your home. Partially, or minimally, staging a home does not work. Think about it, how do you feel when you enter a vacant home vs a beautifully staged home?

3. Add Furniture
Without furniture, there is no frame of reference, making it difficult for buyers to tell the scale and size of the room. Will the master bedroom fit a king size bed? How about the great room - it looks too small for a sectional. When buyers have to start questioning . . . they normally walk away.

4. Hide Flaws
When homes are vacant, every flaw is exposed. Normal wear and tear, a chipped tile or small crack will be magnified. This will cause buyers to focus on the negatives . . . rather than the positives. A professional stager knows how to redirect a buyer’s focus, emphasizing the positive features of the home while visually diminishing the negatives.

5. Show Potential
Only 10% of buyers can visualize, so when they walk into your home, 90% won't actually be able to visualize the home's potential. You don't have to be a gambler to see that these are terrible odds with probable poor results.

6. Less time on the market
A vacant home will send a message to buyers that the seller is desperate to sell. Right or wrong, knowing the seller has already relocated gives the buyer a distinct advantage when negotiating, often submitting a lower offer. The Real Estate Staging Association’s survey of Realtors found that vacant homes take 68% longer to sell and sell for as much as 15% less that professionally staged homes.

The fundamental thing to consider when deciding whether to furnish a vacant home is price. And statistics have shown that the 'price' of leaving a home vacant can be a lower selling price and a longer time on the market. You must ask yourself if this is a price you can afford to pay?

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About the Author

Rein Hollar, Stage It Hawaii
44-137 C Kauinohea Place
Kaneohe, HI 96744

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