September 8th, 2011
Selling a vacant home is more difficult than selling a furnished one, in any market. A vacant home — regardless or how nice the property — can seem eerily empty and lacking in character and warmth. However, if you are trying to sell a vacant home — whether it’s a second home or a space you were unable to sell before moving to a new location — there are a few key tips that can make the process easier and help provide a quicker selling time, and a better selling price.
Sweat the small stuff. Once furniture is removed from a space, even the slightest imperfections become apparent. An older carpet that was once disguised by a modern sofa and coffee table is now glaringly out-of-date. Holes in the wall or a hallway in need of a fresh coat of paint are now obvious. Spend extra time fixing up any noticeable damages, repainting and caulking, getting new carpets, pressure washing and fixing up anything in need of repair.
Air it out. It’s amazing how quickly an empty house can begin smelling stale and musty. Before a showing, throw open windows and doors to allow for fresh circulation, and consider some mildly scented candles or air fresheners.
Amp curb appeal. Since the house may be lacking inside in terms of character, make sure the exterior packs a punch. Not only should you clear clutter and debris from your yard, keep grass neat and repair those broken fence posts; but you should also consider planting new flowerbeds, upgrading that tired front walk or even hiring a landscaper.
Consider staging. Even if you have moved all your furniture out, you may want to consider hiring a staging company that offers furniture rental. These professionals can make an empty space into a scene of warmth and comfort. Potential buyers are not just looking for a roof over their head, they are looking for a place to start a new chapter in their life. You want to show them everything your property has to offer. Since vacant homes often sell for considerably less — typically 15-20 percent lower than the asking price — hiring a staging company is usually a solid investment.