What’s the best way to sell an empty property?
Hard as it is to believe, soon Christmas will be over and it will be prime time to place your property on the market. That’s all well and good if it’s your current home and you can spend time tidying up and adding some warm, finishing touches to present it at its best.
But what about when it’s empty? Should you furnish it or leave it as it is? Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this. However, if you go through the following list, you should get a better idea of what is best for your situation:
- The condition of the property
Fixtures and fittings hide a multitude of sins. That’s not that I am suggesting for one moment that you should deceive potential buyers. Absolutely not. But in an empty house, issues that may not actually be that significant or major can look like a much bigger issue and become a distraction.
Take a slight stain on the paintwork, a bit of mildew from condensation or a damaged bit of skirting board. With an empty house, they are very obvious and can become the focus of a buyer’s attention – even though they are probably easy to fix.
The other thing to consider is how an empty house portrays itself and what first impression it creates. Does it come across as a warm, family home or will the first impression be a damp, musty smell?
My advice would be that if you want or have to sell it empty, you should invest a little in making sure it’s gleaming and spotless, as well as smelling fresh and clean. That will mean you probably need to bring the decor up to a very high standard.
Whatsmore, don’t forget to consider the condition of any fixtures that are being sold with it – do they need refreshing or replacing? And make sure the property is kept well ventilated and smelling fresh. Could you use some scented home fragrance (but don’t overdo it of course) to ensure it smells nice?
Finally, do not forget the condition of the carpets, floors and curtains! These can and do often retain unpleasant odours and stains so professional cleaning may be required.
2. The condition of any furniture you could install
You may not have the budget or resources to furnish the property you’re selling, in which case, you will have to follow the steps above and below. But if you are considering furniture, do think about quality and impressions.
A furnished house is great for those buyers that can’t see beyond what is in front of them, those that don’t have the vision to imagine it as their home. It helps them work out how a bedroom or sitting room could be laid out and to what extent their furniture will fit.
But shabby, battered old furniture, that you’ve sourced on the cheap, could do more harm than good when it comes to creating the impression of a warm and comfortable home. Think about your budget carefully and decide whether your money wouldn’t be better spent bringing the decor and empty interior up to standard.
3. Don’t forget the outside
Having talked about first impressions, you must not forget kerb appeal and the garden. It’s absolutely essential to keep the garden of an empty property well maintained – even in winter – so that it looks tidy. You should also consider outside lighting and any other little touches that may have an impact if a potential buyer drives passed for a quick look or for when they first arrive.
4. Photos and floor plans
One of the most influential aspects of encouraging interest is, of course, the photographs or your property. Most buyers will decide whether or not to view, based on these.
It can be difficult to create the right impression with an empty room. You don’t necessarily get the perspective of a room, in the same way as you do with a furnished house, where there is furniture by which you can judge how big a room is.
Therefore, if your property is unfurnished, your floor plans are going to play an important role. Check that they are crystal clear and include each room and ask whether you can add any details to make them more illustrative.
5. Your buyers
In much of this post, I’ve put the emphasis on the buyers looking for a family home but of course, that’s not always the case. Think about the different types of buyers you might attract. Is your property likely to sell as an investment property? Is it ripe for substantial improvements or alterations? Might it be converted into multiple occupancies? It goes without saying, these factors will make a difference as to whether or not furnishings will make a difference.
If you’re still in any doubt, why not give me a call and we can discuss your property and what the best way to present it is.
Graham Faulkner is Branch Director of EweMove Dorking
He’s bought and sold a lot of properties over the years and is also a portfolio landlord, as well as specialising in helping other landlords. Apart from his own experience and expertise, he can also recommend the right professionals, as tried and tested by him, to advise you.
Multi-award winning EweMove in Dorking is a residential property sales and lettings agency who pride themselves on being refreshingly different and standing out from the crowd. EweMove Dorking covers from Ockley to Oxshott.
Enquiries to 01306 406 506 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org