Researchers say, showcasing the best side of a home to create interest and help you get top dollar, is better than leaving it empty. From first impressions to possible layouts, home staging provides potential buyers with a visual representation of a home and can help you sell your home quickly and for a competitive price. By using staging, sellers can show buyers potential without making them use their imagination. If a home is empty and without furniture it can be difficult to see how comfortable the home truly can be.
With the current lack of selling inventory and dozens of buyers lining up to see the few actually available, you’d think that the amount of prep work going into homes being readied for sale would have diminished dramatically.
In reality, the overall quality of homes currently for sale is significantly higher than a few years ago. Part of the reason is that we’re no longer seeing the multitudes of trashy foreclosures that dominated the landscape (not only are there less foreclosures, those that do appear are in better condition because banks have learned that a small investment in new carpet and paint will reap larger returns).
In a declining market, sellers realize that they’ll be losing money if they invest too much in getting their home sold. If they put $10,000 into modernizing a kitchen, they might get $5,000 back. Although they understand the need to make their home as presentable as possible, most sellers will do it on the cheap so as not to lose any more than they absolutely have to.
When the market turns and heads back up, the profit margins change. In the current hot market, home prices are not dictated by previous sales, they are now governed by multiple offers and how much any given buyer is willing to pay. That same $10,000 kitchen upgrade might very well score a $15,000-$20,000 return. Factor in paint, new floors and the like and the chances of reaping a windfall dramatically increase. Particularly in West Coast hot markets, where on average 3-5 offers are received on a dingy property — well prepared homes are frequently seeing well over 20 offers. And of course, the more offers a seller receives, the better the chances of a solid sale at way over asking price.
Market conditions have changed. Now that home prices are on the rise, it’s best to put your best foot forward when selling a home. If the home is empty, have it professionally staged.