I think we are all aware that interest rates are very low at the moment (many accounts have rates paying less than 1%) and anyone with savings will undoubtedly have been looking for alternatives. Property is very popular, with many looking to even make a career from it.
During the pandemic I have seen a lot of building work being carried out locally with new small developments, existing properties being demolished and replaced or substantial refurbishments.
In these situations the investor, builder or developer may often complete the project but market the property as an empty property.
A property being empty can have its advantages, for example, some buyers do find it easier to visualise their belongings in the rooms, there is no clutter so the room sizes are obvious. However, in most cases, empty properties are more difficult to sell. Here are a few reasons why.
This is a topic I return to again and again when talking about home staging and selling your property. It is even more important with many agents using video tours as well as more traditional photography. Most buyers start their search for a property online even if they follow that up by registering with local estate agents. Property searching is a bit like online dating – buyers scroll through the images and click on those they like. Your property needs to look appealing in its marketing. Images of empty rooms tend not to be very interesting so properties may often be discounted without a click through. Your property needs to attract the attention of prospective purchasers so that they view.
Particularly with new builds and developments (even small ones) the landscaping, or kerb appeal, may be neglected. The Will Rogers quote “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” may be a bit of a cliche but it’s true. In the case of selling property, the first impression buyers get comes from the frontage. With a new development or even a single dwelling, this aspect can be overlooked. You need to pay attention to the approach, whether a driveway or path, and softening the facade.
When people view an empty property yes the space may be obvious but without furniture to ground it buyers can find it difficult to work out if their furniture will fit. Believe me this is important. Buyers do make decisions about buying a property based on whether a piece of furniture will fit even if the property is otherwise perfect for them. This may seem illogical but there may be a very valid reason for their attachment to that piece of furniture – they may have saved up for what to them is an “aspirational” item or it may be an inherited piece that has great sentimental significance. We have probably all seen Kirstie Allsopp on Location, Location, Location lying on a bedroom floor waving her arms so as to demonstrate that a bed will fit and I’ve whipped out my tape measure on viewings but it isn’t ideal. If the room is furnished appropriately it is easy for buyers to see that their furniture will fit.
Feel – “experience (an emotion or sensation)”.
How often on property programmes or if you’ve been out viewing properties, have you talked about the “feel” of a property? When it comes to making a decision buyers often make that decision based on how the property feels, does it feel like home. It is very difficult to create an ambience in an empty property, they can feel soulless.
Staging an empty property for sale with furniture, accessories etc helps prospective buyers visualise themselves living in the property and creates a sense of anticipation.
One thing I have noticed when doing viewings of new build or refurbished properties is that sometimes practicalities such as the position of sockets or the ways doors are hung doesn’t make sense when you look at where you would put furniture. This is particularly important when it comes to smaller rooms where space is tight. For example, in a bedroom I might go in and think “well the bed would go there” (may be to take advantage of a view) only to realise that the sockets that indicate the position of the bed are on a different wall. Or the opening of the door to the en suite means that the wardrobe can’t go there. As I am going in to a space with the aim of furnishing and dressing it, I will look at it from a practical point of view. So if I am consulted at the appropriate stage I can provide input on such things and also the standard of fixtures and fittings which could impact on the selling price.
And Finally …
Aspiration. If you have ever visited a showhome you will be aware that these are beautifully presented, there are all the little finishing touches. Show homes sell a lifestyle, buyers aspire to live in them. By furnishing and dressing your property you help the create that lifestyle vibe that means buyers will want to live there.
So if you are an investor who has refurbished a property, a builder or small developer with a property or properties that you are looking to market, and would like to learn more about the benefits of staging your property for sale contact me to arrange a consultation. Call 07745 876182 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org . I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, the North West and North Wales.