Is it really necessary to stage a vacant house? Only if you want to shorten the time you will be carrying it. While it may be painful to have to spend money putting furniture into a house you want to sell, then you need to understand WHY staging a vacant house works:
1. Vacant homes have a lack of personality. They look cold and uninviting.
2. Empty homes are hard to remember or distinguish from other vacant houses. Most buyers are looking at anywhere from 5-10 houses, sometimes in one day. Many look similar. Something needs to make your house stand out.
3. Most people simply cannot visualize what a room will look like with furniture. While you or your broker may have a clear idea of what each room is for, only 10% of the people shopping for homes will understand what's in your head.
4. Empty rooms look smaller than furnished ones. That's because there is no frame of reference for spatial relationships.
5. Staging give continuity and clarifies the flow of a house. It pulls buyers through, so they stay interested in seeing the whole place.
6. Staging helps distract from flaws. With nothing else to look at, buyers will notice anything that doesn't look absolutely perfect. And let's face it, every house has some weak points.
7. Furnishing a house gives added value, especially in a resort area, where a decorating project is really not part of a buyer's agenda. All things being equal, there is no reason a buyer wouldn't want a house with furniture as opposed to one without.
8. A well staged house is part of the whole experience. When a buyer approaches a house, if the outside is landscaped beautifully, the pool looks inviting and the exterior is stylin', opening the front door and seeing an empty space is a letdown.
9. Having furniture gives the buyer a chance to sit and "feel the house." No one is going to want to sit on the floor. If they are standing, they are going to keep moving. Right out the door and onto the next house.
10. It makes economic sense. When you spend money paying off a construction loan or mortgage, keeping it in shape, heated or cooled, and paying for utilities, you are getting nothing but emptier pockets as time goes by. When you invest funds in staging, you will get a return on your investment. And it's tax deductable!