As a professional home stager I am asked on a daily basis the same question . . . does home staging really work? And on a daily basis my answer is the same. Yes, it really does!

The other day I received a frantic call from someone who, because of a job transfer, had moved out of state. He had purchased two townhomes strictly for investment purposes a couple of years ago . . . back when the market was hot, hot hot!. Both townhomes had much in common. They were 3/2’s in very nice gated communities . . . both sitting on the market, vacant, for over six months with no potential buyer in sight. The seller was getting desperate. I listened to him for several minutes and then he popped the big question, the one I hear daily . . . does home staging really work? And my reply again was YES, IT REALLY DOES!

I agreed to go the next day to visit these townhomes and give my recommendations. Upon entering I could immediately see why no one had shown interest in either home. They were ‘VANILLA’ in a Baskin Robbins world! Each were in great locations, had good basic floor plans, but nothing that would distinguish them from the hundreds of other townhomes on the market in the same area, for the same price. With builder beige carpeting, white walls, light oak production cabinetry and standard light fixtures throughout, there was no personality in either home. Nothing exciting or memorable to make them stand out in today’s competitive market.

The following are five reasons to show why, especially in today’s market, it’s important than ever before to stage a vacant home:

* Homes that show well are the ones that are warm, inviting, and make an emotional connection with the buyer. Vacant homes rarely accomplish this goal.

* Without furniture, there is no frame of reference, making it difficult for buyers to tell the scale and size of the room. Will the master bedroom fit a king size bed? How about the great room – it looks too small for a sectional. When buyers have to start questioning . . . they normally walk away.

* When homes are vacant, every flaw is exposed. Normal wear and tear, a chipped tile or small crack will be magnified. This will cause buyers to focus on the negatives . . . rather than the positives. A professional stager knows how to redirect a buyers focus, emphasizing the positive features of the home while visually diminishing the negatives.

* Only 10% of buyers can visualize, so when they walk into your home, 90% won’t actually be able to visualize the home’s potential. You don’t have to be a gambler to see that these are terrible odds with probable poor results.

* A vacant home will send a message to buyers that the seller is desperate to sell. Right or wrong, knowing the seller has already relocated gives the buyer a distinct advantage when negotiating, often submitting a lower offer.

The fundamental thing to consider when deciding whether to furnish a vacant home is price. And statistics have shown that the ‘price’ of leaving a home vacant can be a lower selling price and a longer time on the market. You must ask yourself if this is a price you can afford to pay?

Source by Jeannene Edwards

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