Creation Room by Adriane Dizon
Real estate agents would agree: selling vacant properties is much harder than selling inhabited homes. That is not to say that we’re not up for the challenge; most of us are. It’s just more difficult to sell something that could be than something that is. Let me explain.
Equipped House is More Attractive
The reasons for this lies in the human nature of buyers. Most buyers are looking for a new home — a place to which they could move their life, their loyalty, their families, and their dreams. They’re seeking an emotional bond with the place. In a loose Harry Potter analogy, buyers are looking for a home that would “choose them,” just like the wizards in the novels are looking for wands that pick their masters.
When a buyer visits a someone’s home, he or she can form a rather thorough opinion of its features. It’s immediately obvious how practical, enjoyable, and spacious the place is. The buyer can see all the furniture in place, observe all the quirks and specialties of the home, feel the atmosphere and the ambiance of the dwelling, and make the decision as though she or he were on a relaxed visit to a friend’s. One can even sit down on the sofa and imagine this place being one’s own home.
On the contrary, if the house has been vacated, the spirit has most probably left with the former owners. (This is especially true if the former owners took all the furniture and appliances with them and the house has not been staged afterwards.) Empty rooms, empty walls, and empty storage space give virtually no clues to the visitors as to how practical the place is, nor how spacious it is. If visiting the home requires too much brainwork on the part of the potential buyer, we’re running the risk of overburdening his or her mind. Buyers have plenty to worry about as it is, and imagining nonexistent furniture, beds, and bathroom equipment may just be too much to ask of them.
Filling Up Vacant Property
As I suggested above, in these extreme cases, when you’re selling a completely empty home, it’s wise to consult with a professional home stager. Your agent will be able to help you with this. Some stagers are able to rent out nice pieces of furniture that could re-create the homey atmosphere in the space. This is also the reason why developers take care to equip their newly constructed houses and condos with the basic storage spaces, shelves, and appliances at the very least. It just makes the otherwise sterile house or condo so much easier to sell.
Fortunately, Toronto real estate agents don’t have to list vacant properties nearly as often as Realtors® in other areas. Things are worse in regions where foreclosures are frequent and former inhabitants are being sent away from their homes before they’re sold.
Please let us know in the comments whether you’ve ever bought a vacant house and how it felt to do so.