When a vacant home is sitting on the market it could be one of many reasons. The primary ones are usually price, condition of the home including the presentation and the marketing.
Some of these factors are not in one's control, however many are and can be dealt with suitably. These include setting the right price, working with the right real estate agent who can market the home well, ensuring it reaches all potential buyers online and presenting the home to it's "full potential".
With 81% of buyers being able to visualize themselves in a staged home as per this NAR Survey, staging has direct benefits affecting a home sale.
For a vacant, empty home on the market here are FIVE SIGNS which imply it may be time to call in a professional stager or discuss staging with your agent.
1. Your home is sitting on the market
When one lists a home, it is immediately competing with the other homes in the neighborhood. The home which stands out as the most well maintained, beautifully presented and priced right sells faster. If your empty vacant home hasn't sold but the competing ones are selling its time to re-evaluate your plan.
Sometimes, competing homes which are staged or owner occupied with fabulous inventory, showcasing how potential buyers can live, sell faster. Even an owner occupied home when presented well, kept clean, has an edge over an empty vacant home. This is because when buyers walk in to a vacant home they often spend only one third of the time they would in a furnished or staged home. The more time a buyer invests in your home more is the likelihood they will put it in their consideration set.
2. Your empty home pictures are really not...
90% of buyers search online as they start their home buying process. If they see a vacant, empty room versus a room which shows the lifestyle the buyer aspires for, color and emotion which house will they choose to visit? Buyers work on emotion - which pictures will drive emotion?
Let's face it - showing empty, vacant rooms in pictures dramatically reduces the power of the Internet marketing plan. Your home pictures are the starting point of a home buyer's journey and determine whether he chooses to visit your home first or another or not visit it at all. Give a good look to your empty rooms pictures and imagine them all beautifully staged - then figure where showings could be maximized,
3. First showing are not followed by second showings
When a home has multiple showings it indicates buyers are putting it deeper in their serious consideration set. As I mentioned earlier It is easy for 81% of buyers to visualize a staged home as a future home. As they fall in love with the home first showings are followed by second. If your vacant empty property is having 'single showings' you can be rest assured buyers may be going back disappointed or your home is not getting on their shortlist.
4. Buyers see a number of flaws in the home
Ask your real estate agent what is the feedback from buyers on the home. This is a starting point to see if there are flaws which the buyers sees but can be addressed. This is not the time to be emotional about whether they exist or not. Simply be objective and wear the "buyer's hat" while evaluating one's own home.
Here are some of the top problems, our team at BlueGrape Staging has often solved successfully with staging. A professional staging firm can help solve some of these:
1. Small Rooms - Staging makes rooms look bigger if done right by professional experienced stagers. Completing a bedroom with the bed, nightstands, lamps and art can miraculously make a bedroom look larger. In this one case, where the recurrent feedback the seller was getting was the bedroom was small, disappeared the minute buyers actually saw how well the bed fitted and still left so much space in the room.
"Buyers find it hard to visualize, staging does a "show and tell"
2. Dark rooms - Brightness and bringing in a fresh look, bringing in furniture, artwork, rugs and accents can help transform a dark room to a bright spread. Empty homes often look darker and lack perspective.
3. Layout and Flow - Experienced stagers create a natural flow of traffic and show how one can layout their rooms thus sometimes solving feedback on, 'I don't like the layout'
5. Your carrying costs are adding up...
You may be trying to save money by keeping your home listed 'as is' but your carrying costs could be adding up and worrying you. From HOA fees to mortgage payments, taxes, utility bills, maintenance of a home on the market all these carrying costs add up each month. Sometimes sellers shy from an investment to present their home well staged. However in the long run this does not avoid the ever accumulating carrying costs. The truth is the cost of staging your home will always be lesser than your first price reduction.
If you see a few or all of these signs as part of your home sale it is time to call in a professional home stager and take an opinion. Ask questions and let them share a staging vision for the home. Here are some handy areas to consider if you are not sure about how does staging work.
The combined benefits of - a better presented home, showcasing a lifestyle visualization to the buyer coupled with the right marketing and pricing may help your home sell - faster and for better!
Pramiti is Co-founder at BlueGrape Staging, a leading home staging firm at San Diego known for its staging excellence in helping homes sell. Besides, this she is Vice President, RESA, San Diego (Real Estate Staging Association) a RESA Top 10 Rising Star Stager, loves all things design and Internet.