Many homeowners find themselves in a predicament when they are forced to relocate quickly for a new job or other extenuating circumstances without having time to sell their existing homes. In these cases, most owners end up purchasing a home in their new location and selling a home that is empty in their previous location.
Selling an empty house can present challenges to individuals, because a large part of a property’s appeal is viewing it when it’s properly staged. However, there are ways to overcome this obstacle and have a successful home showing.
The most immediate solution to an empty home is renting furniture sets to spruce up a home. Traditional staging rules should still be adhered to, and individuals should seek out furniture color palettes and accent pieces that are warm and neutral. Consumers do not have to break the bank to purchase extensive sets. Instead, a basic dining room set, a living room suite and bedroom set should suffice. In addition, consumers can borrow accent pieces from friends and family members to add more color and character to the home. Lastly, bringing small appliances, pictures and warm touches from their new home allows sellers to make the house feel more welcoming and family-oriented.
Clean and Update Thoroughly
A clean home is crucial for any sale, but it can be even more imperative for empty houses. Dust on the floors, dirty windows and grime on countertops will be even more visible to potential buyers because there are fewer objects around to distract them or cover up imperfections. Pressure wash carpets, clean windows, wash walls and make sure corners, vents and ceiling fans are dust-free before a showing.
In addition, sellers may want to take advantage of the empty space and repaint walls or put in new floors to make the area appear more modern and fresh.
Don’t Ignore the Outdoors
Sellers should avoid getting too caught up with the interior of the home and pay equal attention to the exterior. Curb appeal is important in selling a home, and the landscaping and condition of the house is the first thing buyers will see when they pull up to a property. Keep grass trimmed, plant a few flower beds and make sure the home itself has been touched up to keep the outside profile looking neat.
When selling a home, “Pride of Ownership” is a phrase often used to attract buyers. It may seem counter-intuitive then, that homeowners who show pride are asked to remove evidence of family life before listing their home for sale.
A homeowner who is able to view their own home through the eyes of a buyer has a much better chance of a quick sale — and a higher profit — by completing some simple tasks that set the stage for a buyer.
Make the Mental Break
Selling a home is an emotional experience, especially for the homeowner who is parting ways with family memories. As a result, many homeowners attach a monetary value to their homes strictly based on sentimental reasons, which can negatively affect everything from setting the asking price, to redecorating to attract a wider audience.
Consider your opinion of your home when you bought it. What attracted you to the property as a place to call home? Try visiting other open houses in the area before listing, and take notes about what you liked, and didn’t about the property. Take the list home and apply the same critical eye to each room of your house to see if it will pass the buyer test.
Your home is entering the market with the aim that it will become someone else’s home. Doing everything you can to ensure the most buyers will fall in love with your home can ensure that the next owner will provide it with the same care and attention you have.
Create a Neutral Palette
With 90 percent of home buyers browsing properties online, according to a joint survey by the National Association of Realtors and Google, it is no surprise that the home viewings are spurred by images browsed online. To attract a buyer’s eye, photos that show clean, spacious, and neutral spaces will far outweigh the competition.
Browse current listings in your area and make note of any appealing images. Chances are, they will project a light and airy space, with no clutter or personal knick-knacks. These images allow a buyer to picture themselves — and their things — in your home. This is the much-touted concept of depersonalization.
It may seem inconvenient, but tucking away personal photos, awards, mementos, and even furniture will create a blank canvas from which to stage your home for sale. A general rule of thumb to follow involves packing up anything to which you have a sentimental attachment. Whether buyers realize it or not, they will feel mentally ready to consider your house as a potential new home if they don’t have to overlook your life while doing it.
Paint color is another item, which is entirely personal, and should be tamed down to allow the features of the house to speak for itself. Beige, gray, or greige (a mix of the two) are fantastic choices to create a neutral palette that will allow a buyer to picture your home as theirs.
Assemble the Right Team
Every great home sale begins with a knowledgeable professional — and sometimes buyers need a reality check. Your real estate professional is invaluable during a sale, and can provide you with an unbiased and experienced opinion on your home, and any changes that will make it more attractive to buyers. Your agent is also the go-to source for comparable listings and can guide you to an informed decision about the correct asking price for your home. An agent who can provide an objective view can be a powerful ally when selling a home.