Maybe you relocated to another city and needed to move right away. Or perhaps you found a great deal on a home that closed really quickly, prompting you to move all your belongings into your new abode long before finding a buyer for your current home. Whatever the reason may be for moving out of your home before it sells, leaving it vacant can turn out to be a big mistake.
Here are a handful of reasons why a home that’s not properly furnished or appropriately decorated when it’s on the market can put a damper on a sale.
1. Imperfections Are Magnified
While you certainly don’t want to be deceitful about any problems with your home, you also don’t want to make effort to highlight flaws that may be present. Effective furnishing and staging can help camouflage imperfections rather than put them on display, which can go a long way towards impressing buyers.
If all that buyers are looking at are bare walls and floors, they’ll be more likely to spot flaws. Any chipped tiles, scuff marks on the walls, scratches on the hardwood, outdated light fixtures, and nail holes in the drywall will appear magnified if the room is vacant. Buyers will then be more focused on having to make repairs and updates to the home rather than focusing on the potential the home has.
2. Room Functions Are Not Defined
While a kitchen might be obvious because of the presence of cabinets, counters, and a sink, other rooms may be harder to define without any furniture or decor in them. Vacant homes tend to take longer to sell because buyers are often uncertain about how the rooms can function to suit their lifestyles and daily routines. This is even more true for homes that have unconventional and odd floor plans. With no furniture to help define a space, buyers will have a tough time deciphering how each room is to be used.
Vacant rooms lack reference points that help buyers determine where specific items will be placed or arranged. They’ll be confused about where to place their sofa, television, dining table, and so forth. Buyers will struggle to picture how their furniture can be arranged when they walk into an empty room.
In fact, less than 10% of buyers are actually able to visualize how furniture can be arranged in a vacant space. Instead, a furnished room provides buyers with the ability to understand what the room is used for and where their furniture can be placed for optimal function.
3. Empty Rooms Look Smaller
When properly furnished with the appropriately-sized pieces, a furnished room can actually appear larger than it is. On the contrary, vacant rooms do the opposite and actually make rooms seem smaller than they really are.
When it comes to the appearance of size, perspective plays a key role. Giving buyers something to focus on can alter the way a space feels, including its perception of size. If your home is already lacking in square footage, leaving it vacant can make it seem even tighter.
4. Developing an Emotional Connection is Much Harder
When it comes to staging a home to attract buyers, it’s all about selling a certain lifestyle. Buyers aren’t just buying a structure; instead, they’re buying a home that they want to build memories in and one that will suit their daily lives. Buyers typically buy homes that they feel an emotional connection to. Without that emotional connection, it can be a lot harder to convince a buyer to put in an offer.
Considering the magnitude of a home purchase, buyers need to feel something for the home that they spend all that money on. That’s the goal of home staging: to sell a certain lifestyle and help buyers develop an emotional connection to a home. If it’s vacant, there’s little to fall in love with. Instead, vacant homes feel lifeless and lonely, which is the complete opposite of the feelings that you want your home to exude.
5. Buyers Can Get Distracted
If your home is vacant, buyers might get distracted from the features of the space and any consideration of the home as a purchase. Instead, buyers will start wondering why the home is vacant in the first place.
Why did the sellers move already? If they’ve already moved into another home, are they more motivated or even desperate to sell? If buyers become distracted from the home itself and start asking these types of questions, they might assume they’ve got a bargain on their hands, which can often produce a low offer. That’s the last thing you want as a seller.
6. Vacant Homes Don’t Stand Out From the Competition
With the competition being as fierce as it is in many centers across the state, it’s critical to take steps to make your home stand out from the crowd. The best way to do that is to have your home staged, especially if it’s vacant. A home that’s completely void of furniture and decor won’t be differentiated from other homes in the neighborhood.
The Bottom Line
A well-staged home won’t leave buyers wondering how the space can be used and how it will fit their lifestyle. The opposite is also true: a vacant home will leave buyers clueless about how their own furniture can be arranged and how they would be able to spend their time there. With no furniture in the home, buyers will have a harder time connecting to the place, which is a key component when it comes to enticing them to put in an offer.
If you can’t leave your furniture behind until you find a buyer, consider hiring a home stager to fill the space for you. This investment can go a long way in minimizing the amount of time your home sits on the market and the price that your home will ultimately sell for.