Before you put your vacant house on the market, think about what you can do to make it more appealing and inviting to the greatest number of buyers. Statistics have shown that furnished houses sell faster than vacant houses.
First impressions mean everything in real estate, putting a little time and effort into staging your vacant house can really pay off in the end!
Dismiss the notion that selling a vacant house tips off buyers that you’re desperate to sell. Undoubtedly, you want to sell the house as quickly as you can. And with a few extra touches, you should be able to get as fair and reasonable price.
- Furniture: Believe it or not, vacant rooms can seem smaller than furnished rooms. This is because there is no furniture to provide perspective. Leave behind a few pieces of furniture, maybe some chairs, an end table, and lamps. This can help prospective buyers get a better idea of how well their furniture will fit the space or even go with the decor.
- Add Accessories. Accessories help to give the room depth. Bring in color and warmth using items such as greenery, silk trees, silk flower arrangements, bedding/comforter/pillows, candlesticks, vases and towels in the baths.
- Avoiding Unwanted Visitors: Giving your vacant house a lived-in look also has other advantages, such as discouraging vandals, loiterers, or uninvited squatters. Make sure a few lamps are set on timers to go off and on at certain times of day.
- Keep Up the Curb Appeal: Keeping your lawn mowed and hedges trimmed is another way to lure buyers and shun unwelcome guests. Put on a fresh coat of paint if necessary. If you’re still in the area, stop by often to cut grass, pull weeds, rake leaves, sweep walks, shovel snow, and do routine yard maintenance. Again, think of color and how it appeals to the emotions. Plant colorful annuals, re-mulch or re-sod, if necessary, but make it as attractive as possible. The outside is a good indication of how the inside is maintained.
- Enlist a House Sitter or Neighbor: If your new home is too far away to make this practical, consider hiring a house-sitter, soliciting neighbors and friends to keep an eye on things, or using lawn and home-maintenance services. Having someone there on the premises will ensure that your house and yard are kept in showing condition.
If you must take your furniture and leave your house completely vacant, pay extra attention to the walls and floors. Once your pictures are down and the couch is out, the empty space will amplify every nick in the wall and stain in the carpet.
- Have your carpets professionally cleaned. This may get out the stains you left behind and the puff up depressions your furniture made. If not, consider replacing the carpets all together. A smooth, clean floor is sure to wow a few buyers.
- Give all bare walls a fresh coat of paint. If you used bold colors to accentuate your decor, switch to a white or neutral beige color now. Sunlight and age will fade wallpaper, which will be all-too-obvious once you remove your wall hangings. If your wallpaper is too faded, too bubbled, or too wrinkled, remove or replace it. If walls are a warmer, neutral color, the house will become appealing to more buyers.
- Put in motion sensor lights and/or alarm system. This will help protect your vacant house from unwelcome guests. Just be sure to give your real estate agent the codes!
- Consult your insurance company. Ask about any restrictions you may have about keeping a vacant home on your policy; there may be a time limit.