You may think prospective buyers would prefer an empty home so that they can see the size of the rooms, but most would actually prefer to see your home with all your furniture and belongings in place when viewing.
Agents agree that buyers generally react better to homes that are occupied and furnished – because it helps them visualise themselves living there.
This is one of the reasons developers furnish a show unit when marketing a new complex. It gives buyers a good idea of where their furniture should go and whether the size and layout would suit them.
With an empty home, many buyers have trouble working out whether their belongings will fit into the space. Homes that have been empty for some time may also seem neglected and unwelcoming – particularly if the garden is overgrown or windows and floors are dirty.
If you have no option but to sell your property unoccupied, there are still ways to make it appealing to buyers.
- The first step is a thorough cleaning. Pay particular attention to any marks or stains that may have been concealed by furniture and curtains.
- It may be worthwhile to hire professional carpet cleaners and window cleaners.
- Fill in any holes left by nails on the walls and paint the interior in a neutral shade.
While the property remains empty, keeping the garden neat and tidy is important – particularly just before show days and weekends.
- Appoint a garden service company to regularly mow the lawns, rake up leaves and remove obvious weeds. If you have a pool, ask a pool maintenance company to clean it and check the chemicals at least once a week.
- Check the front of the house to see if it needs sprucing up. A home that has been freshly painted and varnished is immediately appealing, whereas a faded roof or a loose gutter could make you lose you a sale.
- Make sure the property is regularly aired so that it smells fresh when prospective buyers come to view it.
If you can’t do the necessary interior and exterior work yourself, your estate agent should be able to recommend reliable contractors – and possibly manage the process for you until your home has been sold.
Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer