Los Altos Real Estate Blog

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Stage your vacant home - nobody wants to see an empty beige room!

We've all seen that picture on the MLS of the empty living room with the off-white walls and beige carpet screaming "BORING!".  It's enough to make a seller cry all the way to the poor house.  And the rest of the photos get worse, you know...

  • The picture of the toilet in the otherwise empty bathroom
  • The picture of the bedroom closet
  • The picture of the kitchen, stripped down to nothing but a sink and fridge

BORING, BORING, BORING!!!

Buyers are uninterested in that boring, boring listing!  You know why?  They can't see how they'd live there!  A bedroom without a bed might as well be an office or a workout room.  When was the last time you saw a builder with a new home on the market without some sort of staging?  I'll bet it was half-past never.  They stage because staging helps create the image buyers need.

 

Visualization Is Everything!

Most home buyers need help trying to place their "stuff" in a house.  An empty room is like a blank canvas - perfect for stagers and interior decorators but bad for home buyers.  They need things in the right place to be able to walk in and get an idea of how a room (or rooms) is/are used.  With staging, home buyers should walk into a home and say...

I can see myself living here!

...and that's exactly what you want them to do.  Don't make it any harder on them by listing an empty house. 

 

But Staging Can Be Expensive

Yes, but so is losing 10% from not staging.  The stronger the emotional attachment, the less people will nickle-and-dime you on the sales price.  A staged home will typically sell faster and with more buyers (thus more offers at higher prices) than a home that's empty.  My suggestion to home sellers is to always stage and especially when vacant.  Not every room has to be covered by the major spaces (kitchen, family room, master bedroom) should be done.  If done right, it'll sell quickly and the cost will be well worth the expense.

 

Take a look at this panel of experts talking about the merits of staging vacant homes.

 

 

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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022

 

 

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Comment balloon 6 commentsBryan Robertson • March 03 2013 04:49PM

Comments

You are so right. It is harder to sell an empty house. The neutral floors and walls helps, but the decorating and staging do not only make it easier to sell, it brings more money to the seller in most cases.

Posted by Lori Bowers, The Lori Bowers Group over 5 years ago

Hello Bryan,

Very true - staging a vacant home can make selling it for the best price in the shortest amount of time well worth the investment.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 5 years ago

Wow I am so glad  I read this blog.  It has been on my mind to stage a home for one of my sellers.  Let me ask do you pay for the cost of staging the home or do you make the seller pay for it?

Posted by Merline D Pennant - New homes, Short Sales and Pre-foreclosures, New City, New Towns, New homes (Regal Realty of the Treasure Coast LLC) over 5 years ago

If I have sellers about to move I always insist on photos first, but if it's already empty and below a certain price point I don't push staging.  I have done some rooms before too and not the entire house.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 5 years ago

Certainly in the luxury market staging is expected, and well worth the expense.  On less expensive homes I've had good response from staging just the living room, kitchen and master bedroom.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 5 years ago
Vacant rooms have no memory. I have before staging photos that I have to rack my brain to remember what house is this, what room is this? It really is true. All beige walls look alike!
Posted by Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor (Carlson Properties 325-721-2429) over 5 years ago

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