Going through my sms messages the other day, I came across a message I’d sent to a seller seven weeks earlier. I had sent it to him the day after we met at her property, saying how good it had been to meet and that I hoped to her from him soon. Which I did not.
The seller had been trying to sell this property for several months, and had listed it with no less with seven (gulp) agents, yet had had no offers whatsoever.
Empty home = lifeless space
The reason was evident: although beautifully renovated, the house was empty. It looked soulless, lifeless, bare. And even though it was not small, empty homes look much smaller. They don’t look like value for money. It would be hard for anyone to imagine living there.
Worse, it looked like a spec home, the kind someone buys cheaply from an old lady, spends a fortune renovating, and now wants the new buyer to pay for the expensive renovation.
Turning buyers on visually
Online buyers browse visually, and are turned on by a well decorated house that gives each space a purpose and an atmosphere. They are turned off by bare walls and floors, and move on to the next listing.
One of the seven estate agents had suggested to the seller that he stage the home, and had referred him to me. I could see enormous potential for the home once furnished – it would be a delightful warm space for a family or a couple. I discussed my ideas and pricing with the seller.
A small investment versus a large drop in price
To stage the home for four weeks represented about 0,25% of the asking price. Relaunched online with new photos and a ton of pix appeal, it would have brought in a mass of new potential buyers, online and then to show days.
What’s more, the estate agent had offered to contribute to the cost of staging, if she sold the house.
But instead of staging, the seller chose to drop the price. By 10%! And to continue to market it empty.
Still the same, baby, baby, still the same
Today, while browsing the property listings online, I saw that the property is still on the market, seven weeks later, still empty, still unsold. I am not surprised.
Staging really does work. Homes that are staged sell twice as fast as unstaged homes. So before you reduce your price, consider home staging. The investment is a fraction of the potential reward. Call me. I’d love to help you get a great price, fast.