How to Stage an Empty House for sale

By: Sveta Melchuk

Home staging is an important marketing technique for selling homes, whether they are furnished or empty.
As I have been receiving many questions lately regarding empty houses and how to sell them faster and for more money, this article will discuss the specifics of staging empty properties.

Important points to remember about empty properties are:

• People buy «Homes» and not «Houses»: It’s, therefore, essential to give them the feeling of a «Home» and you certainly won’t be able to achieve that with an empty space!

• A vast majority of people (over 90%) can’t imagine what a house could look like with furniture in it, and they have nothing to compare their furnishings to in an empty space. Did you know that a room actually looks smaller empty than properly furnished?

• With nothing to focus on except the bare space, the negatives will become more apparent to prospective buyers.

• An empty house gives an impression of a desperate situation, and you can expect to get lower offers than otherwise.

So, to sell your property fast and for the most money, what do you need to do?
Let’s start with the outside: don’t forget to take care of the lawn and the landscaping – keep cutting the grass, trim the hedge and bushes, and plants/flowers are a nice touch in the summer. Rake the leaves in the fall, continue removing the snow in the winter and make sure that there is a clear path to and around the house. Clean and paint the front door and the trim, if needed.
On the inside, the house has to be spotlessly clean – ceilings, walls, windows, floors, and carpets. If needed, the house should be repainted in neutral, pleasant colors.
You don’t need to stage the full house, but it’s essential to focus on a few key rooms – entrance, living room, dining room and a master bedroom.
Just a few pieces of furniture, art and accessories can suffice, but they have to be well chosen and well positioned to make vignettes.

So, how do you stage an empty house? First, can you leave any of your furniture behind for a while? If you can’t leave anything, can you borrow from friends/family any quality items?
Another great alternative is renting furniture on a short-term basis. There are places in Montreal (and other cities) which provide brand new, beautiful furniture and accessories specifically for selling an empty house. The stager will set it up in the most advantageous way, add some accessories and a few pieces of art and voila! Some stagers have their inventories as well and will rent you the items required. Some creativity and some simple but efficient staging techniques will turn your empty house into a «home».

And remember, first impressions can make or break a sale, so a bit of effort, time and money will go a long way to selling your house fast and for most money!

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