Surveys show Crown Point, St. John, and Munster home buyers can more easily picture moving themselves and their belongings into a home they’re viewing if it is still furnished rather than if it’s vacant.  Kind of makes sense doesn’t it?  It’s all about first impressions and the subconscious.  People tend to relate easier to homes that show a little life.  Our subconscious tells us vacant homes are empty, and too cold or too hot.  They bring our focus to what’s wrong with a house, like a threadbare carpet, dirty walls, or even an overgrown front lawn because there’s nothing else to ply our attention and stir our imagination.  But sometimes we’re forced by new employment or other factors outside our control to relocate to a new home before the old one is sold.  Never fear.  Here are some tips to keep in mind for staging and selling your vacant house that will help buyers imagine making your old house their new home.

  1. The view from the curb.  Keep your lawn mowed and yard manicured.  Shovel snow in the winter.  Keep newspapers from piling up on the front stoop.  If you live close to the vacant house this is as easy as stopping by regularly.  If you’re new home is too far away, prohibiting you from taking care of this yourself you will have to enlist a close friend or family member, your Realtor, or some other property service manager to keep the property’s exterior fresh and inviting.
  2. Furniture staging.  It’s easier for someone to picture their belongings in a space that provides a sample layout.  A couch along this wall just like theirs; the entertainment center would go over there; our dining room table isn’t even this big, ours would fit easily; look here, they were able to put a pair of bunk beds in this bedroom.  We could move…  Get the picture?  If you have to move everything out to furnish your new home hire a staging company to bring some furniture in to help buyers imagine where their stuff will go when they move in.
  3. Utilities.  Put lights on a timer, especially during the winter.  This also helps deter break-ins.  Program your thermostat to a comfortable temperature.  You don’t want buyers to be uncomfortably hot in the summer, or cold in the winter.  That’s a lasting negative impression often too difficult to shake.  And be sure to winterize the home properly if necessary.  The last thing you want for a buyer’s first impression is flooding in the kitchen and basement.

Here are more great tips on selling your vacant home.