Selling a vacant home is often more difficult than selling a furnished one. The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) tracked 174 homes listed for sale in 2011 and found that they lingered on the market for an average of 156 days. When those homes were staged and relisted, they sold in an average of 42 days. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Vacant homes tend to look cold, sterile, and uninviting. A few pieces of furniture + area rugs and accessories such as art and florals in each room add the warmth that help buyers envision the house as a home.
  2. Empty rooms – especially particularly large or small ones – often raise questions in buyers’ minds about whether, where, and how furniture will fit and how it should be placed. This is magnified even more if the room has unusual angles or oddly-placed windows. Staging provides solutions to these dilemmas that will show the home in its best light!
  3. Vacant homes can look as if they have been sitting too long on the market, conveying the impression that sellers may be desperate and that the house hasn’t been well-maintained or may have unknown issues. Furnishing a home helps give it a lived-in feeling that makes it competitive with other (furnished) homes on the market and makes it look move-in ready.
  4. Staging creates a preferred lifestyle buyers aspire to; a professional stager appeals to your target demographic by using design elements to appeal to buyers’ emotions. Stagers also have the experience to know who your target demographic (buyers) are, and what style of furniture, bedding, and accessories will “wow” them.
  5. Since 85-90% of buyers start their home search on the internet, having attractive MLS photos on-line is critical. Furnished and decorated rooms are much more appealing to the vast majority of buyers than empty rooms!

What about cost? Staging 3 main rooms (living room, dining room, master bedroom) and bathrooms and kitchen with basic furniture, soft goods, and accessories in an average 3-bedroom, 2 bath house typically runs around $2,500-3,500 for 3 months. A good rule of thumb is the cost of furniture rental runs about $150-200/room/month; more for larger, higher-end homes. The stager will charge a design and set-up/removal fee as well. Stagers know where to get the best deals for furniture rentals, will negotiate and arrange the rental, and accept deliveries and later wait at the house for pick-up. They also create a design plan, making sure all furniture ordered will fit the space, work well together, and decide on the best placement of all pieces.

 

Resources

Home Staging for an Empty House

How to Stage a Vacant House to Sell

How To Sell Your Empty Home

5 Reasons not to sell a vacant house

Home Staging Your Vacant House

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