Why Stage a Vacant Home

You’re ready to move.  You find a real estate agent and want to sell as soon as possible.  You decide to go ahead and move out, thinking that your house will sell faster without your furniture and decor in it. Maybe you even leave an old rug and table behind.  That will look great you think.  Buyers will see how roomy and open it looks and will fall in love with it.   It should work, right?  Probably WRONG.  

Did you know that vacant homes usually sit on the market longer than occupied or staged homes?  Buyers rarely (only about 10% of them) can visualize the size of the rooms, or imagine their furniture and items in the house.  They’re confused.  Empty rooms, believe it or not, look smaller until something is in there to give the buyer perspective.  In the photo above, the rug and table actually do help define the rooms in this big open space.  What’s missing?   There are no emotional connection points in here.  Buyers spend money on homes when they can emotionally connect to them.  They can imagine sitting at the kitchen island, sipping on their morning coffee.  They long to put their feet up, snuggle up, and watch a fun movie with their family.  They want a cozy spot to read a bedtime story to their children.   And the examples go on and on…

Also, think about what happens when you put on a swimsuit.  Every ounce of fat, cellulite, every wrinkle, freckle seems to be magnified.  Every flaw is exposed!  In a vacant house, it’s the same thing.  Any smudge you have on a wall stands out.  A scratch on your fireplace mantel is magnified.  A small discolored spot on the wood floor looks massive.  Since there is nothing to feast their eyes on, buyers will notice every flaw in a vacant house that otherwise they would probably never notice!

What about bedrooms?  Ninety percent of people cannot figure out if a master bedroom can handle a king-size bed, or only a queen.  Let’s not leave it up to their imagination!    Plus, this looks a little “blah,” don’t you think??

Now buyers can see that this room easily fits a queen bed with plenty of room around it.  It’s not hard now to imagine a king size in here.  See how it helps!  The window coverings even seem to make sense in this townhome now.  

Would you like buyers to take their time as they walk through your house?  YES!  Do you know why?  Statistics tell us that buyers take more time walking through an occupied or staged home.  When a house is empty, they can zip right through it and leave quickly. Take for example this kitchen, it has some great features, but nothing is highlighted.  No one is connecting with it because it feels cold and plain.  When items are added (like below) a buyer tends to linger, and the chances of them submitting an offer to buy the property increases. This is a good thing!

Here are a few emotional connections that would look great in a kitchen, or perhaps the last picture could be in a bathroom. I easily found these on Pinterest, and if you hover over the photos, you’ll see the photo credits. Do you notice that there is a plant in each photo?  That’s not an accident!  People like real, organic looking things.  Think of the buyers that can relate to cooking, coffee, and a nice-smelling hand soap.  That’s what staging does for your vacant home.  

Now I know what you’re thinking… Doesn’t vacant staging cost a fortune?   Not really.  If you only stage the main areas of your house and the master, most buyers can get the feel for the house with that, so it costs less than staging the whole house.   Now, let’s say your vacant sits on the market for four months because…well… it’s vacant.  You’ve now made FOUR MORE mortgage payments, insurance payments, and paid property taxes.   That’s a lot!  Let’s say you reduced the price after two months, by 5% like your agent recommended.  That could easily be $15,000 on a $300,000 listing.   What if staging only was only $3000 and it SOLD within two months?  See what I mean?  It can actually make you more money than not staging.   Is this always true?? No, but it’s worth thinking about.    If you know me though, I hate selling things so that’s not what my business is about.  I’m here to help, and if helping you sell your house for top dollar is priority, then reach out to me or another professional home stager.

Thanks for hanging out with me on my blog.  I’d love for you to find me on Pinterest or Instagram so you can see other great ideas for staging, decorating, and life in general.

Warm regards,  Shana


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