The debate flared again over dinner last night … is it better for a home being sold to be vacant or furnished? And, as always, the answer was “it depends.”
Under ideal circumstances, a home for sale should be decorated and staged like a model home at a new build. There’s a reason many homeowners tour model homes simply for the decorating ideas they can find.
But for most, life is not an ideal circumstance and decorating a home like a model can be difficult if not impossible. So as an agent we tend to focus on what’s doable – taking down an overabundance of family photos, uncluttering rooms, counters and closets and the like.
What if the owners have moved? Arguments often are made for full-fledged staging but what isn’t usually discussed is the extreme cost of filling a home with furniture-for-rent for the duration of a listing. Those who question the commission they’re paying a real estate agent would blanch at the tab that can be run through full staging.
Some lesser staging can help … towels in the bathroom, some items in the kitchen … but at the end of the day, what’s going to sell the house is the house itself.
Model homes don’t sell new construction because of the decor but because of the extreme upgrades involved. A model for a two-story, for instance, almost always will have the wrought iron or wood banister and not the solid wall, allowing the home to feel more open. Counters are upgraded. More tile is used than in standard homes
In short, all of the things that attract a homeowner (even if they can’t really afford the upgrades when they get to the design center) – that’s what sells.
I’ve had buyers who only can envision themselves in vacant homes and others who want all the trappings. There’s no right answer. The folks who say there is probably are trying to sell you something other than a home.[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]