You’ve probably heard staging a million times if you’re buying or selling a house right now. Although its repetitive, staging is very important to both the seller and the buyer. It can make or break a sale. Staging is a word used to describe the ways in which homeowners or their real estate agents prepare a property in order to show it to potential buyers and negotiate a fast sale. Staging typically involves positioning furniture and decorative items in ways that make rooms look larger. Staging also extends to the outside of a home through landscaping and creation of “curb appeal” to draw in buyers.
The point of staging is so that the buyer can picture himself living in the home. It looks warm and inviting and it allows buyers to visualize the possibilities for the space. When you make your home look clean, inviting, spacious and well cared for, you set it apart from the exact same type of house that is vacant or poorly staged, which can result in a faster sale.
While a vacant house may not look as inviting as a staged home, it can offer some positives. Picky decorators can envision their own décor in the space, or feel like they have a blank canvas with which to work. A vacant house also emphasizes the fact that the owners have already moved on, which means the home is available right away. If a vacant house is clean and in good condition, buyers can focus on architectural elements and design features rather than someone else’s furniture. These aspects of an un-staged home can invite a quick sale.
Staging a home can take time, effort and money. Most staging begins with the current residents packing away personal items and removing excess furniture. If you’re living in a staged house while it’s for sale and being shown to potential buyers, you have to get used to living in a decorated space that has to look picture-perfect on short notice. This can be tricky for families with children or pets.
A vacant house doesn’t give off a warm, homey feeling the way a staged home does. If there are any defects, like scratched floors or stained carpets, they tend to stand out more in an empty space than in a decorated space. In addition, potential buyers may try to make offers below market value because they know the owner is no longer living in the house and likely wants to sell it sooner rather than later.
Not only are you likely to see a slower sales time with a vacant house, but you may see lower prices as well. For more reading, check out NOLO’s article on, Is Home Staging Worth The Cost?