There is a consistent debate among home sellers and Realtors alike as to which scenario — Vacant or Furnished — will bring you higher priced offers?

This question is often overlooked by sellers due to the inconvenience of putting off the physical move till after a home sells. After all, individuals want to get their lives back to “normal” as quickly and “conveniently” as possible, especially if children are involved.

Are you marketing to the broadest spectrum of buyers?

You really don’t know what kind of buyer will come to your house.  Will they be more of a:

a) Creative visionary?

b) “Can’t visualize what I can’t see?”-type

The bottom line is most are the latter, and you need to be prepared for all types.

Most home buyers can’t envision what they can’t see. It’s true. However, there are buyers that can see through the “vacancy”, and see the possibilities your house has to offer, but do you want to limit yourself to that small group of potential buyers, especially in such a competitive market place?

This fact is most obviously demonstrated by the fact that new home builders often invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on décor and furnishing of their models. Would they make this investment if it were not an effective marketing tool?

Everybody wants to live in the model home.  Social proof marketing at its best!

What is the cost of leaving house vacant? The “cost” for making the decision to leave a home vacant can result in a lower selling price or a longer time on the market. Most decisions are made emotionally and then rationalized logically afterwards.  So, you definitely want your home to make an emotional connection to the buyer; vacant homes, in general, do not accomplish this goal.

When homes are vacant, every flaw is apparent. Normal wear and tear are much more evident when there is nothing else to look at. A room that has an odd shape or is lacking in features can look “difficult” and or “boring” when they are not furnished. It’s difficult to visualize how a space can be used when it is empty. By adding or keeping some furniture in the home, it can feel warm and inviting.

Not to mention, often times the first thought that comes to my mind (which I share quickly with the buyer) is that there’s probably some motivation on the selling side, and perhaps they’re carrying the cost of TWO homes at the same time.

As a seller, you really don’t want the buyers smelling “blood”, do you?

Home furnishings also offer a place for potential buyers to sit and contemplate an offer. They can visualize how their furniture will fit in the space and start to mentally “move in”.

Who can help? A staging professional or experienced Realtor can help you choose which items should go, and which should stay, to maximize the value and personality of your property. A stager will discuss with you all the possibilities, and then together come up with a game plan that is cost effective, and still leave your house warm and inviting. It is important to get staging advice early. The sooner a staging plan is implemented the more cost effective it is.

We typically see owners gain $1.60 to $4.00 for every dollar they spend on staging their homes.  That’s very impressive!

As an example, if someone invested $1,000, they can typically add $1,600 to $4,000 to their sale price.

For a list of the best staging consultants we know in Milton and the Greater Toronto Area, call or email us.