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Old 02-23-2008, 12:53 PM
308 posts, read 1,559,701 times
Reputation: 200


We are currently debating whether to suck it up and place our house on the market for a loss or rent it for some indefinite timeframe. On top of this, however, we have been wondering whether it is easier to show a house empty, sans furnishings, or while it is still furnished? Does it look too cold and uninviting if you place an empty house on the market? Or is it better to keep some furniture in the house during showings? Suggestions/opinions welcome.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:58 PM
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,069 posts, read 14,084,323 times
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The reason model homes are furnished is because it helps to sell the house.

Notice that they do not have any personal type of photos, and no refrigerator magnets, etc. They are staged to make the home look it's best.

Take that as a guide to how your home should look when showing.

It will only cost about $150 to have a consultation with a home stager. Many of the good realtors are proficient at staging and can guide you.

The choice of rent vs selling now is up to whether you live close enough to take care of the home, and have the willingness to deal with rental property.
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:51 PM
Location: Marion, IN
8,189 posts, read 30,055,175 times
Reputation: 7315
As a buyer I much prefer to see an empty house.
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:55 PM
9,803 posts, read 15,064,399 times
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WOW, Evey.

I was just going to post the same thing and add--" I am probably the only person in the world who thinks that way"

I see I am not alone in my thinking.
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:08 PM
Location: Long Island
286 posts, read 1,265,120 times
Reputation: 177
Hi, Paramour,
I know there is a lot of differing opinion on whether to sell furnished or not. From my own experience, if the house appeals to my clients, how it is furnished doesn't matter. In fact, many times, the furnishing turns buyers off, especially if the house is cluttered or smells. The most important feature seems to be clean, with sufficient light. That's been my experience. I know others will disagree.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:21 PM
Location: Salem, OR
15,145 posts, read 37,608,366 times
Reputation: 16086
It depends...is my opinion. I have found that smaller homes (1500 sq feet or less) tend to sell better vacant. People tend to have too much stuff in these homes and they look small. Having them vacant makes them look larger.

I have also found that larger homes sell better staged. They are so big, that sometimes they don't seem "warm and cozy" enough. It's better to have it vacant if you don't have good taste (no offense meant to anyone) and it's not in the budget to have it staged.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:46 PM
Location: Richmond, VA
2,310 posts, read 1,898,749 times
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I would think it depends on your furnishings...If you have nice, quality items that are in great shape and fit into the space nicely, then I would leave it in. If, on the other hand, your items are too big for a space, outdated, or just are uniquw to your style, then leave it empty.
A lot of buyers need a space defined for them...if there is an odd space-say a nook in the master bedroom-you may want to showcase what can be done with the space like a nice chair with light to highlight a nice reading area or if bigger, a nice chair and a half with a flat screen on the wall to highlight more living space.
If you do opt to leave it furnished, hire a stager to come in and just give you a fresh pair of eyes...you might not need the stager to actually stage, but just get the nod that things look good.
good luck. I left my home with the furniture in while on the market and got a lot of nice comments on it. I had to totally rearrage things from how I was living, but it helped. (for instance, I had a nice living room set in the finished basement but no furniture in the formal living, so I took the love seat and brought it to the formal living along with the coffee table and end tables. Added a rocking chair that I took from my kids room and I then had a nice, furnished living room that was the first thing you saw when in the space. The basement then just had the couch positioned nicely to face the flat screen with the ottoman used as the coffee table with a nice tray on it...coupled with the wetbar, it looked like a nice place to hang out. I took out the queen bed in the spare room b/c it was too big for the space (but I had needed that bed when I was living there) and replaced it with an older daybed that I had had sitting in the basement...add a nice comforter and there I had a perfect spare. The kids room I left completely empty...) You get my drift.
good luck!
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:34 PM
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 3,918,414 times
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Depends on the wall colors, whether there are any interesting architectural features, and your furnishings and how they're arranged.

Yesterday I looked at a "professional" staging website - wish I could find it now - where they showed 2 photos on their opening webpage: one photo of an empty room, and one photo of the same room, as staged by them.

Unfortunately they weren't very good at their work, because the empty room looked beautiful, with a lovely color on the walls, a very pretty window (architecturally interesting), wonderful fireplace and mantle, and lots of floor space ---- and the staged room was horrible!

They crammed so much furniture into the room you couldn't see the beautiful hardwood floors or the fireplace, didn't notice the pretty window, the walls were chock-full of framed arts, and chatchkes filled every flat surface.
The worst part was the huge sofa with its back to the fireplace. What were they thinking?!?

I prefer empty, or sparsely furnished homes because it's easier to see the merchandise, so to speak. It's harder for a seller to disguise problems when you can see every nook and cranny.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:39 PM
186 posts, read 1,035,327 times
Reputation: 99
I like seeing furniture in houses. One thing to check out is a lot of homeowner's insurance policies here will cancel your policy if the home is unoccupied for over 60 days. Our market is slow with houses not moving for 6+ months. Just thought I would throw that out there. I had a friend recently who's insurance cancelled her for her house being empty. I'm sure others could give better advice about this. I'm new to the selling market and just going off of our insurance policy and friends.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:13 PM
Location: Back in MADISON Wi thank God!
1,047 posts, read 3,682,142 times
Reputation: 1411
I always think that if a house is empty,the owners have obviously moved on,they must be desperate to sell,they will jump on a low offer.Maybe I'm wrong.
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