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Empty Property v Staged Property

23/08/19

When we are selling our homes, we tend to put them on the market whilst we are still living in them, therefore it’s easy for potential buyers to visualise how our homes are lived in and how they might utilise the space.

However, there are many occasions when properties enter the market when they are not occupied.  This occurs mainly with developers looking to sell property they have been working on but can also happen when people are looking to sell a home of a deceased relative, sell a buy-to-let, or sell a property once the vendors have already moved out.

These unoccupied properties provide a perfect marketing blank canvas for home staging, but what is home staging? Home staging is the process of preparing and decorating a property to make it more appealing to potential buyers. 

But why bother?  It’s cheaper and less hassle to stick a property on the market as it is, rather than to go to all the bother of decorating and filling it with furniture that will only need to be removed once it’s sold.

The answer is simple; because you want your property to sell.  Not only do you want it to sell, but you want to make the most profit possible.  Staging your property helps you achieve this.

Empty properties are more difficult to sell mainly because most potential buyers cannot visualise themselves living there.  They cannot picture their furniture in the space and they struggle to visualise how they would use this space.  This is especially true for smaller spaces and also for large open plan areas.

Another reason is that potential buyers are aspirational.  The first view of a property is online, and an empty property, no matter how high end the finish, will not grab buyers in the same way that a staged property will do.

Financially the facts speak for themselves.  Furnished properties spend 50% less time on the sales market.  Furnished properties also sell for 8% -10% higher than unfurnished properties, so even though there may be an initial outlay to furnish the property, the extra income will easily offset this.

If you are developer and plan to invest in another property immediately after your property sells, then the furniture you used to stage the property can be utilised again.  There are however many Home Staging companies out there who will loan furniture for the sole purpose of the sale.  This could be a perfect solution should you not want to keep and store furniture, and also allows for the fact that different properties may require different furniture depending upon their design.