The question regarding whether you ought to sell your home furnished or empty is one which often arises out of necessity. Perhaps you have already moved on to your new home, or you are selling a second home or buy to let investment property which has no furniture in it, or maybe you are selling on the home of a deceased loved one. There are lots of reasons why you may be confronted with the question of whether or not to furnish a property which you are selling.
Furnished is Almost Always Better!
As a general rule, it can be said that furnished properties attract a higher level of interest than a completely empty one. When people see pictures online and later during a viewing they try to imagine themselves living in the property. This is much easier if a property is furnished. But this is not the only reason – a fully furnished home gives an overall feeling of warmth that is impossible to achieve in an unfurnished home.
It is much easier to imagine how the rooms can be used and what furniture will fit when there is already an example there. Many people struggle to visualize if a King size bed will fit well into the bedroom, but if there is existing furniture already there then this task can be much easier for your potential buyer.
A fully furnished home will also better disguise any scuffs, marks and slight cracks on the walls. If there is no furniture in the room then all of the wear and tear which has accumulated around the property over the years will be visible for all to see. Furniture and decoration can do wonders to hide and distract from the little imperfections around your house.
So, the main advantages of a fully furnished home are:
- A feeling of warmth
- Easier to imagine living there
- Easier to visualise dimension and furniture
- Hides marks and imperfections
Sometimes it simply is not possible to furnish your property for its sale, and in those cases, you might want to employ a few tricks to show off your property as best as you can:
Having your carpet professionally cleaned not only leaves you with a cleaner carpet, but it will also get rid of those unwelcome dents which have been left behind from previous furniture. Also, a good carpet cleaning will usually leave a fresh smell in the property, which is key to making a good first impression.
Inspect your property with an open mind checking for those scuffs and marks we discussed earlier. Touch up where necessary and have some ‘magic eraser sponges’ to hand – they really do work a treat. You might even want to consider redecorating depending on how bad a state the décor is in. If you do get the paintbrush out, make sure to stick with neutral colours as they help a room to look more spacious and you don’t run the risk of polarising anybody with a bold colour choice.
Where possible, leave curtains and lampshades or buy a neutral set which aren’t too expensive. Naked lightbulbs and empty window frames are a real turn-off during viewings as they can make a property appear cold and uninviting. Check the whole property for faulty lightbulbs and replace them where necessary. Remember, bright and welcoming is always a plus when showing your property, regardless of whether furniture is there or not.
Empty homes often need a really good deep clean. You would be amazed by what has been hiding under your bed or behind your chest of drawers all these years. For this reason, when you remove furniture for a property, it is essential that you make sure the entire place is deep cleaned to ensure that there is nothing off putting waiting for your viewers.
If a room is an unusual shape or particularly small, it can be difficult to imagine how furniture will fit into the space. On a few occasions, I have seen sellers map out on the floor with masking tape where old furniture used to sit so that their viewers can see exactly how the trickier spaces can be used. This way there is no wondering where the sofa would go, or whether or not a double bed would fit in the second bedroom.
Beyond these actions there are actually a few advantages to selling a property empty.
Ideal for a Quick Move
If somebody is looking to move quickly, then an empty home sends the message that this is likely to be possible. There is a subliminal message that this property is waiting for somebody to move in to it quickly.
An empty home does provide a blank canvas and some people prefer to imagine just their belongings in the house and find it easy enough to visualise what their style will look like on a blank canvas.
If the owner has a very particular taste in décor, it can prove quite distracting for the viewer to appreciate the property for what it is or could be. Under those circumstances it can pay off to remove everything and go completely neutral with the property’s appearance.
Staging a Property
In many countries staging a property purely for presentation is a common practice. After all, most big housing developers set up fully furnished showhomes, complete with accessories and finishing touches to highlight how the space they are selling is liveable. These companies know a thing or two about how to sell a home, and have honed their presentation style over the years. So, if your budget allows it, consider employing a home staging company. Alternatively, enlist friends and relatives to help you with this task, but be warned, staging a house professionally takes a lot of skill and resources.
In an ideal world, it would be better to have your home furnished when you are trying to sell it, but if that simply isn’t feasible then make sure you follow as many of the tips that we have presented above as possible. Often it can be the little touches which make the biggest difference!
We hope this post was useful to you and will guide you long the right path when selling your property. Over the years we have assisted hundreds of homeowners with the sale of their homes and we’d be delighted to assist you with yours.
For a no obligation chat about your property and your future plans feel free to call Nicola on 01786 821 012 or Markus on 01786 542 171.