Many homeowners will be in circumstances requiring a need to move to the new home prior to the old home selling. Sometimes it could be a tenant that has moved out before the home goes on the market that causes the home to sit, vacant. As you can imagine, selling an empty house is a bit of a challenge. Not only are there the insurance, maintenance and security aspects to consider, but also the appeal to the potential buyer. Many buyers simply do not have a vision of what the home COULD be. They cant visualize how the home will look with furniture and decorations and therefor, cannot imagine themselves in the home.
Staging a home for sale is becoming more common as homeowners learn how valuable the process is. It is even more valuable when the home is vacant. Since studies show that a home without furniture takes 78 percent longer to sell than a furnished home, and the latter sells for closer to asking price, please consider the following to maximize your profit on the sale of the home.
Hire a professional home stager
These designers bring in everything from furniture to accessories and arrange them in ways that appeal to a homebuyer’s emotions. “Most homeowners spent between $348 and $803,” to have their homes staged, according to the professionals who are members of ImproveNet. Check out their handy calculator that will give you a better idea of the costs in your ZIP code.
Stage it yourself
Making a home looked lived-in, when it isn’t, is a big job, even for professionals. But the good news is that you won’t necessarily need to stage the entire home, according to Kerry Derwent-Robb at HomeStagingHints.com. She recommends that you stage the dining and living rooms and one or two bedrooms. If you feel you lack that interior designer flair, get some ideas and inspiration online at HGTV, on Pinterest or at HomeStagingChannel.com’s YouTube channel.
Stage it virtually
Yes, there are virtual stagers and they can change the color of walls, switch out the flooring and even add virtual furniture. The danger in this method is that if a buyer likes what he sees online and shows up to tour the home in person, the first thing he’ll notice is that the home looks nothing like its photos and he may feel deceived. You can get around this by making it clear online that the home is virtually staged.
The price? It varies but Kim Palmer of Minnesota’s Star Tribune says that virtual staging may cost up to $100 per photograph, but you can find virtual stagers online that charge as little as $40 per photo.
Hire a professional tenant
We don’t get it, but some people don’t mind moving frequently, especially those that are “resident managers” that work for home staging services like Showhomes. This process takes staging to an entirely new level and homebuyers will not only see a furnished home, but a lived-in home, complete with a stocked refrigerator and clothing in the closet.
The managers bring their own upscale furnishings and accessories and they even pay their own utility bills. Showhomes pays for the homeowner’s additional insurance costs.
Home managers aren’t suitable for all homes. In fact, Showhomes will only work with homeowners whose homes are listed at $500,000 or more. Their fees run from $1,000 to $3,000 and some companies also ask for a percentage of the sales price.
Take Staged Photos Prior to it Being Vacant
If you are turning your home into a rental, or planning on moving prior to the sale, take professional pictures of your home prior to packing. This is still a true representation of the home if you use these photos for advertising. If your home has a unique layout, these pictures can be crucial to helping a buyer picture how they would arrange furniture in that space. Many buyers have commented, I wish I knew how they used this space- pictures from you will show them!
While selling a home that is vacant may be unavoidable, there are even simple ways to make it look lived-in. You owe it to your bottom line to do all you can to make the home as attractive to buyers as possible.
Farris Price has worked with numerous vacant homes that were both kept empty and professionally staged. Give us a call to learn how we can best suit your needs and budget while getting you top dollar for your home.