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Vacant listings are almost always more difficult for realtors® to deal with than well staged rooms. As a realtor® I have spent countless days helping sellers understand what a clean uncluttered house looks like to today’s finicky buyer. Few buyers have the imagination needed to see their lifestyle in an empty space… so a bit of non-cluttered staging will generally help buyers with the process.
There are two things to keep in mind. Home staging is king and almost always substantially increases showings. But coming out of the recession, many sellers are either upside down or close to it. That makes and extra 2-3 thousand for staging out of some budgets. Enter virtual home staging… your vacant listing pictures all dressed up with furniture, pictures and realistic home staging. Typically virtual staging is $75 or less per image. That puts staging 5 rooms back in almost everyone’s budget to increase traffic.
The second thing to remember is that your 3 inch MLS picture is competing with 100’s of others for attention. Since practically everyone is starting their search online these days with one of the many real estate search engines, you need to be on these sites with pictures that get noticed. Vacant homes don’t stand up in pictures and virtual tours. Homes that are well photographed, bright and have home staging get more showings. Homes that get more showings almost always move more quickly when location is not a factor and they are priced right for the market. So, if a few hundred dollars of sharp marketing on the front end will speed up the process it’s well worth doing.
The next time you have a vacant listing try virtually staging the property and measure the difference.