Does a House Sell Better Empty or Furnished?

Couple selling country house

With a global pandemic impacting the housing market, you need to play it smart when making a quick sale. But you might find yourself pondering, “does a house sell better empty or furnished?” 

Some homeowners prefer to keep their homes furnished to give off a lived-in vibe, while others like to keep it bare to give potential buyers a chance to imagine what their new home would look like. It all depends on what works best for you and how viewers see a space. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of selling a house empty or furnished to help you decide how to showcase it.

Selling a Furnished Home

Setting a good first impression
Dictating the tone and aesthetic of the space
Hiding the worn parts of the house
Requires a lot of pre-planning 

The Upside

Depending on the size, architecture of the house, and the type of buyer, the lived-in vibe gives potential new homeowners a blank slate to set a similar tone. Seeing the house with furniture set with a particular aesthetic offers buyers a better idea of what they might want their space to look like when they move in.

It’s a bonus for home sellers since it allows them to intensify the purpose of each room. For example, showcasing a queen-sized bed in a small bedroom saves the buyers time trying to figure out if they should sell their king-sized bed or purchase a new queen-sized bed to fit the new bedroom. Aside from leaving a positive first impression on a potential buyer, selling a furnished house over an empty one also allows sellers to disguise the rather worn-out parts of the house. 

Say you have a blotch of coffee stains on the kitchen corner of your counter and don’t want the new buyer to see, apart from a fresh coat of paint, you can position your finest kitchenware like mason jars and spice rack to hide the tainted portion. It’s all about navigating the negative space into less of a potential eyesore.

The Downside

It’s important to know that selling a furnished house means making time to plan out the design and look that goes with showcasing a home. This includes making a pit stop to the paint shop to see which tones are warmer and bring more light into the place.

It also requires sellers to invest a lot of their time on repairs, decluttering old furniture and belongings without completely throwing them all out. Store them temporarily elsewhere to make the home seem more organized than most chaotic days. Not to mention, showcasing a “dream home” can be expensive, and it would be best to set a budget before shopping for a bunch of new accessories to style your house for sale.

Selling an Empty Home

Fosters the potential of the space
Flexible viewing schedule
Frames the area to look smaller to the buyer
Difficulty picturing a themed space
Welcomes bargains easily

The Upside

In terms of selling an empty house, it’s far less exhausting and easier to manage. When it comes to clearing out space, it is faster and more convenient since sellers can do it independently in a day or two or even hire movers to help vacate the area asap. Regardless, it saves home sellers a lot of time and would spare the hassle of deciding which furniture to leave for the open house. 

Never underestimate the power of imagination. With the right buyers, especially those in a hurry to find a new place to move their things into, an empty house is advantageous. This gives them a blank canvas to paint their image of a home without the pressure of creating a better one than the last person who lived in the house. 

Another great thing about selling an empty house is that it can be shown to a buyer on their preferred schedule. Current homeowners wouldn’t have to find the time to let strangers into their existing homes to spark interest. Regardless, an empty home’s open house also helps gain traction, thus allowing a more likely sale to occur.

Female real estate agent handing new house keys to senior adult

The Downside

Like the upside of selling an empty space, there’s an equivalent number of cons to consider. When you sell your home bare, all the nooks and crannies of the house are revealed and may make it look smaller than what the buyers’ imagined. Thus, some owners leave big mirrors in the house’s specific areas to make the home look larger. This is usually done in the living room where more light is welcomed and where it’s easier to balance light and space simultaneously with a mirroring effect.

Another con of selling an empty house over a furnished one is that it may sway some buyers to stress how they would design the space. This is a common issue with smaller homes like apartments and condos during open houses; wherein many buyers tend to get distracted by the size than the space’s potential. Aside from that, buyers will also see all the parts of the house that were worked on or need some work. 

All of this heightens the chances of bargain deals with the seller. Lowering the price for some missing pipes in the guest bathroom could be an approach some buyers will be able to throw out on the spot during a showcase. Regardless, if you’re willing to negotiate (as every good salesperson does), then this shouldn’t be much of an issue.

It Depends on the Lens

When it comes to making a move or selling a house to get a new one, the paths people often choose are either purchasing or renting. When buying a home, viewers and potential buyers will have to navigate a new space and picture a future in that same space. As a seller, it’s vital to make a house look like a new home to a stranger who could take over your space. 

With SEEB Homes, you won’t have to debate whether to sell your home empty or furnished. We buy houses for cash fast, giving you a fair offer for your home in an “as is” condition, without the hassle of repairs or paperwork.

Whether it’s through painting a picture of a home with furniture, a homey aesthetic, or a great sales pitch as you walk past every room, the decision is still up to the home buyer. The most you can do as a home seller is to give all the information the buyers need and tell them what they want to hear when looking for a new safe space.

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