Why Staging a Vacant Home is So Important
We have been staging homes for quite a few years now, and we are delighted to see an increase in the number of vacant homes that we’ve consulted on. In past years, 34% of the homes we staged were vacant. So far this year, 66% of the homes we’ve consulted on are vacant, and 85% of the homes we’ve staged this year have been vacant. As home staging grows in popularity due to TV channels like HGTV and DIY, home owners are realizing the importance of staging their homes, and now staging a vacant home is starting to become more popular.
When we launched our home staging company in 2011, we found some resistance from owners to staging a vacant home. The owners typically felt that buyers would walk in and understand how to set up the home, and fall in love with it because of the character. The main reason we were called in to meet the owners was because the Realtors® wanted us to stage the property. Realtors know what sells homes, and almost all agree that home staging helps homes sell faster and for more money. You can read the latest report on home staging from the National Association of Realtors here. According to this report, “Thirty-two percent of buyers’ agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent.”
In our experience, new builds and remodels were rarely staged a few years ago because contractors felt their craftsmanship would be enough to engage the buyer. This is how it had always been – until recently. Nowadays, buyers are busy people working long hours, and they want to walk into a home and know exactly how they will be able to live there. Not only do they want to understand the furniture placement, but they want to feel it will work for their specific needs. This is why staging a vacant home is so important. Staging a vacant home shows buyers the lifestyle they can have if they buy the home. Eliciting a positive emotional response from a buyer is the key to making the sale.
The condo featured in this blog had been on the market, vacant, in the North End of Boston for about 6 months. It is in a very desirable area, just a few blocks from Boston Harbor. It was very large by neighborhood standards, and priced well. However, it didn’t sell until we staged it. Staging a vacant home is the key to engaging a buyer.
When a home is vacant there is not much to hold a buyer’s attention. They tend to focus on any flaws that may be present. Even a scuff on the paint can turn buyers off. Only 10% of people can envision the potential of a home, the other 90% will move on to the next house. According to a HomeGain survey, buyers stay in a vacant home for 5 minutes, but linger in a staged home for 40 minutes. The longer they stay in the home, the higher the probability they will make an offer. Can you imagine making an offer on a home you saw for 5 minutes? Neither can we!
At Buyers Desire Home Staging, we research the buyer demographic for the cities and towns we stage in. We look at things like the average family size, education level, income level, and then interpret that data as it applies to the individual home we are staging. We then use that data to stage the home so it appeals to the most likely buyer. We do not believe in staging to the masses. This is the philosophy of some home stagers, but we don’t agree with it. When staging a vacant home, it is critical to show the buyer a lifestyle that they aspire to live. Although a buyer is purchasing the building, it’s the lifestyle portrayed through staging that makes them envision it as a home, and seals the deal.
If you’d like to read more about our home staging process, read our blog: Anatomy of Staging a Home for Sale.
If you’d like to learn more about home staging, download our free guide What Buyers Desire
For more information on staging a vacant home, or to schedule a consultation for your home, either vacant or occupied, call us at 781-489-8489 for a FREE in-home consultation.