Should I Sell My Home Empty Or Staged?

Kyle Hiscock

Re/Max Realty Group

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Tips To Determine Whether To Sell A Home Empty Or Staged

Should I Sell My Home Empty or Staged

Should I Sell My Home Empty or Staged

As a homeowner is preparing to list their home for sale there are many decisions that need to be made.  When is the best time to list the home?  What price should the home be listed for?  Who will be hired to sell the home?

These are just a few of the most common home seller questions.  Another popular question that home sellers who don’t live in their home ask is whether they should sell the home empty or staged.

Like with most things, there are PROs and CONs to selling a home empty as well as PROs and CONs to selling a home staged.  It’s important that homeowners weigh the PROs and CONs to help them decide whether they should sell their home empty or staged.

Below you will find out what the PROs and CONs are to both selling a home empty and selling a home staged.  After reviewing the information below, the decision whether to sell your home empty or staged should be an easy one.

What Is Home Staging?

If you’ve walked through a staged home, you would know it.  A staged home can be defined as a home that has been setup in a layout that appeals to the highest number of potential buyers.  Often times when a home is staged furniture, decorations, paintings, and general décor is brought into the home to make the home appealing.

It’s important to understand that there are also many home staging tips that do not require additional furniture, decorations, and other items to be brought into a home.  For example, a smaller home may actually be staged by removing large pieces of furniture, not adding furniture, in order to help make the rooms seem larger.

PROs Of Selling A Staged Home

Home Staging 101 - What Are The PROs and CONs of Staging A Home

Home Staging 101 – What Are The PROs and CONs of Staging A Home

Arguably the biggest benefit to staging a home when selling is the ability to paint a picture for potential buyers.  Staging is a great way to allow a buyer to envision themselves in the home.  If you’ve walked through a model home before that was staged you likely noticed the comfortable sofas, beautiful mirrors on the walls, and silk plants throughout the home.  This is a great way to help make a potential buyer feel comfortable in an empty home by creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Since the majority of home buyers are beginning their search online, another benefit to staging a home is that in most cases a staged home will look better in photos when comparing to an empty home.  It’s still extremely important that when selling a home, whether it’s empty or staged, that the quality of the photos are top notch.  One of the most important, yet basic, real estate marketing strategies that real estate agents should use when selling a home is using high quality photographs of a home.

If you’re home has a room or two that has an odd shape or that is small, staging might be a good choice.  Another benefit to selling a staged home is the ability to show prospective buyers that an oddly shaped or small room is functional.

CONs Of Selling A Staged Home

When deciding whether to sell your home empty or staged, it’s important to remember that staging can cost additional money.  One of the biggest drawbacks of staging a home is the cost to stage a home.  Depending on what is done to stage a home, it can cost several thousands of dollars to stage a home.  It’s important when deciding whether to sell your home empty or staged you evaluate if the money spent on staging will yield a return on your investment or not.

Another negative of staging a home is the amount of time that it can take to properly stage a home.  In many cases, to properly stage a home requires specific pieces of furniture and decorations to be purchased and brought into the home.  Many stagers will attempt to use belongings that a homeowner already has, however, it’s possible they won’t have the proper staging pieces.

PROs of Selling An Empty Home

Should I Sell My Home Empty or Staged - What Are The PROs and CONs To Selling An Empty Home

Should I Sell My Home Empty or Staged – What Are The PROs and CONs To Selling An Empty Home

One of the most common home selling challenges that many home sellers will face are buyers who cannot envision a home while it’s staged or occupied.  Some buyers who are pickier than others can envision their own personal touches on a home when there is nothing but a blank canvas in front of them.

Another PRO of selling an empty home is that it shows you have moved on and the home is immediately available.  This is extra appealing to buyers who need possession in a short amount of time.

Recently while selling a home in Rochester NY, the buyers needed to be out of their apartment in only 4 weeks since their lease was expiring.  There were two homes that the buyers were deciding between and ultimately chose the home that was vacant because the other was owner occupied and a 4 week closing wasn’t possible.

CONs of Selling An Empty Home

One of the biggest drawbacks of selling an empty home is that it does not give the same warm and fuzzy feeling that a staged home gives.  When deciding whether to sell your home empty or staged, you need to keep this is mind.

One potential negative of selling a home that is vacant is that photos will show the home is empty and not lived in.  Unfortunately this potentially can lead to break-ins and the property being vandalized.   It’s important to follow specific tips for selling a vacant home to help improve the chances that your home is safe and undisturbed.

Another drawback of selling an empty home is the reality that defects often stand out more in an empty home than an occupied or staged home.  When selling a home it’s important to disclose known issues with the home, however, defects such as little scratches on a floor will stand out more in an empty home than they would in a staged home.

When selling a home that is empty, it’s possible that buyers will perceive they can buy the home for less than market value because the seller is desperate to get rid of the home.  This is a common thought process from buyers that often leads to low ball offers in real estate.

Empty or Staged – By The Numbers

There are lots of PROs and CONs that you need to weigh when deciding whether to sell your home empty or staged.  In addition to the PROs and CONs that are discussed above, there are statistics that should be considered when deciding.  Below are a few important statistics from the National Association of Realtors relating to home staging.

  • The median dollar amount to stage a home is $675.
  • According to Buyers Realtors® surveyed, 49% of Realtors® believe staging a home makes an impact on a buyer, 47% of Realtors® believe it impacts some buyers but not all, and 4% of Realtors® believe it has no impact.
  • Most important rooms to be staged, in order of importance: living room, kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, bathroom, children’s room, guest bedroom.

 

Final Thoughts

There are many decisions that need to be made when selling a home.  Some sellers will need to decide whether to sell their home empty or staged.  As you can see there are benefits and drawbacks to both selling a home empty and selling a home staged.

I always make it very clear with my home sellers that home staging does not sell a home.  Don’t fall for the trick of the real estate agent who tells you they are a certified staging specialists and that is why you should hire them.  It’s vital that your home is priced properly and the proper marketing strategies are being used to sell your home.

Other Top Home Selling Resources


Are you thinking about selling your Rochester, NY home and you’re not sure whether to sell it empty or staged?  If so, the above information should help you have a clear understanding about the PROs and CONs of selling a home empty or staged.  If you haven’t hired a top Realtor® in Rochester NY yet, contact me, and I’d love to share my knowledge with you about whether to sell a home empty or staged.

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About the authors: The above article “Should I Sell My Home Empty Or Staged?” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

© 2016, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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