When you look on a regular basis at the MLS listings and social media postings of vacant houses, all you see are so many empty living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, studies and bedrooms. Usually, the photos will not interest you (or a buyer) enough to click on the photo or take a look at the property. The reason is – photos of vacant rooms are boring and all look the same! Houses are vacant for many reasons. In almost all of cases – selling the house fast is critical. The current down market is challenging, but especially for vacant properties so you don’t want to make mistakes.
I recently read an article written by a fellow home stager – Birgit Anich. She identified the following five mistakes to avoid when selling your vacant house.
Mistake #1: Selling the house as a VACANT property. Only 10% of home buyers can actually visualize the potential of a home. Especially with a vacant, buyers lack a point of reference – empty rooms look smaller and they cannot envision how to set up the house functionally. When a room is empty, a buyer’s focus is on the negative details and not wanted features. An empty house amplifies negative thoughts.
Mistake #2: Wait to see if it sells as a vacant house. This can be a costly mistake. Selling a house is all about first impressions. On a new listing most of the traffic is generated with the first 2-4 weeks. If Realtors aren’t excited about what they see during a Broker’s Open House or during these first few weeks, they are less likely to bring their buyers to your property. By not having the house staged on day one of listing, you have wasted all that traffic and time on the market without showing the house at its best potential.
Mistake #3: Not differentiating your listing from the competition. Your photos have to look great since 94% of home buyers start their search online. Being vacant does not make your house different from other vacant houses. Remember – a showing or a sale can be lost by one mouse click!
Mistake #4: Price has now become your only marketing strategy. If your house looks like every other vacant house, then your only differentiators are the price and location. You can’t change the location so your only marketing strategy becomes the price.
Mistake #5: Seeing home staging as a COST instead of an INVESTMENT. Staging a house for sale can help you make money. It is an investment into your home selling process – ranging between 1 and 3 percent of the listing price, which may yield a 5 to 10 percent higher sales price. How nice is that? Plus, selling your home faster will save ongoing mortgage payments and carrying costs.
Dwell in possibilities