Never Try to Sell an Empty House

In my article It Never Pays to Use Self Storage I challenged my readers to suggest a scenario where paying to keep property in self-storage facilities is actually a good idea. One reader suggested that it might be a good idea to store your home's belongings when your house is up for sale and you are in temporary quarters waiting to move into a new one.

Bad idea. Never try to sell a vacant house. Sure, remove your personal or expensive items like photos, children's drawings, paintings, collectibles, etc., but leave carpets, furniture, appliances, and bric-a-brac that you don't mind losing. It's easier for a potential buyer to imagine what the house looks like filled with new furniture and their belongings than when it's empty:

Here's the idea:

Six Elements Blog, 5 Reasons Empty Rooms Are a Bad Idea When Selling Your House

Here are 5 reasons why you should always use furniture and/or accessories in a room rather than showing it empty:

  1. People don’t buy houses, they buy homes.

    Walking through empty rooms, or an empty house, is usually pretty depressing. It looks lonely, it doesn’t shout “this is your home, you will love living here.” So why would a buyer feel especially motivated to make an offer?

  2. It’s hard to understand how large a room is when there’s nothing in it as a reference point.

     It’s hard to understand how large a room is when there’s nothing in it as a reference point.

    ... Pretend you’re the buyer, which master bedroom are you more likely to remember favorably after seeing 8 houses in a day?

  3. People can’t visualize how furniture will fit in an empty space and if they’re unsure, they don’t buy.

  4. When a room is empty prospective buyers focus on negative details instead of falling in love with the overall space.

    Instead of looking at the flow of one room to another, they get bogged down in questions like:

    Is the drywall smooth?
    Will those bumps in the carpet come out?
    How come the closet doesn’t have a hanging bar yet?

  5. When a house or even a few rooms are empty prospective buyers can get distracted from looking at the house.

    Instead of focusing on whether this is the home for them, they may be busy wondering: Is this a divorce? Have they left town? Are they selling because they have money problems?

If you already moved your stuff into a new home and do not have any furnishings to put into your not-yet-sold old home, consider using a home staging company or if you're on a tight budget, NextStage cardboard furniture is a cheap alternative.

Related (sort of):

Home staging can be the difference between selling at a good price and not selling at all. For example, Muslims are able to sell the idea that Islam is a sister religion to Christianity and Judaism by populating (or staging) the Qur'an, their military handbook, with names that Jews revere such as Moses and that Christians revere such as Jesus. But those are names only. The Moses and Jesus portrayed in the Qur'an are not the same characters as in the Old and New Testaments.

  • In Judaism, there are no prophets greater than Moses, whether they preceded him or came later. After all, except for Moses, God spoke to all other prophets though intermediaries. That is, God spoke directly to Moses, Deo e mano.

  • In Christianity, there is no prophet greater than Jesus and for most Christians, Jesus is the incarnation of God the Son.

  • In Islam, Moses and Jesus are not much different than the hundreds of other prophets who came before the final and most important prophet, Mohammed.

To make clear that Islam is in fact a military movement rather than a religion, please consider that Islam does not ask one to emulate the humble, kind, peaceful, compassionate, loving Jesus but rather the arrogant, violent, brutal, lustful, savage military commander and beheading ruler Mohammed. It's all in the staging.

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