Staging or selling empty?

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Submitted by nct on September 11, 2015 - 10:08am

Same guy here who were asking "list now or wait to next Spring" Thank you all, especially Rich, for helping out: we plan to list now.

We started to interviewing listing agents. For us, we plan to move out and sell (too much hassle selling and staying). One decision we need to make is "staging or not". Wise pigs, please chime in!

PS: if you have a great agent, especially on selling side. Please shoot me an email: cool DOT id AT gmail DOT com

Submitted by spdrun on September 11, 2015 - 10:17am.

Don't pay the frou-frou. Probably cheaper to hire a few strippers of both genders for an open house :)

Submitted by all on September 11, 2015 - 10:19am.

Staged professionally > empty > staged DIY

Submitted by bibsoconner on September 11, 2015 - 10:22am.

Just my 2 cents.... I was totally against staging AND putting in some extra work (painting, actually redid the kitchen floor), but I really think we recouped our money many times over in the sale. Of course it's hard (impossible?) to know that it saved us money in the end, because we don't have two identical houses to sell.

Regarding the staging, I wanted to buy my house once I saw it staged! I think it makes it easier for a buyer to envision living there. It's hard to visualize your furniture in a place that's empty.

Regarding redoing the kitchen floor, which was the most expensive thing we did ($2000? as I recall). I'm now convinced that many, many buyers don't walk in and say, "His kitchen floor needs replacing. I can do that the way I want it for $2000, so I'll just offer $2000 less". They say, "I'm walking away and looking for a place that has a perfect kitchen floor, or I'm offer 25K less".

I agree that it's psychologically hard to pull the trigger on repairs and staging when you're walking away from the house. The logic side of the brain, says, "what's the point?".

Submitted by all on September 11, 2015 - 10:22am.

spdrun wrote:
Don't pay the frou-frou. Probably cheaper to hire a few strippers of both genders for an open house :)

This. Boys like seeing strippers and faults that can be used to knock the price down.
Girls like their dream doll houses.

If you are looking to sell to an investor who will make it look nice and flip it go with stripped.

Submitted by nct on September 11, 2015 - 11:09am.

Our house is less than 5 year old. It is close to brand new condition. I expect we need only lightly touch up for painting and some furniture/deco to help spur up. Garden can use a bit of clean-up!

Submitted by nct on September 11, 2015 - 11:09am.

Thanks for your comment.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on September 11, 2015 - 11:43am.

It depends a little on the property. Sometimes an empty house can feel like a nice blank canvas, and it can also make smaller rooms feel bigger. We also saw plenty of open houses with tacky furniture and art that was a bit of a turn-off.

On the other hand, GOOD staging can help give a "dream house" feel, especially for a home where it may not be obvious how to use the space ideally.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on September 11, 2015 - 11:44am.

nct wrote:
Garden can use a bit of clean-up!

Hiring a professional gardner to come out once just before you take pictures/put it on the market is probably a good investment. Unless you REALLY like gardening!

Submitted by XBoxBoy on September 11, 2015 - 3:47pm.

If your house is not that nice, and you're thinking your market is investors who will want to turn it into a rental, don't bother.

However... since it sounds like you have a nice house, in good shape, in a family oriented neighborhood, I would absolutely suggest staging. While most piggs think of buying as a logical process, I assure you that most buyers are highly emotional. And the most important thing is that they walk in and think, "ooohhhh, this is nice. Oh, and look, a nice room for my kid."

Just my 2 cents.

Submitted by nct on September 12, 2015 - 12:35am.

I am currently thinking similarly...

XBoxBoy wrote:
If your house is not that nice, and you're thinking your market is investors who will want to turn it into a rental, don't bother.

However... since it sounds like you have a nice house, in good shape, in a family oriented neighborhood, I would absolutely suggest staging. While most piggs think of buying as a logical process, I assure you that most buyers are highly emotional. And the most important thing is that they walk in and think, "ooohhhh, this is nice. Oh, and look, a nice room for my kid."

Just my 2 cents.

Submitted by njtosd on September 12, 2015 - 8:48am.

XBoxBoy wrote:
If your house is not that nice, and you're thinking your market is investors who will want to turn it into a rental, don't bother.

However... since it sounds like you have a nice house, in good shape, in a family oriented neighborhood, I would absolutely suggest staging. While most piggs think of buying as a logical process, I assure you that most buyers are highly emotional. And the most important thing is that they walk in and think, "ooohhhh, this is nice. Oh, and look, a nice room for my kid."

Just my 2 cents.

We looked at a lot of houses before we bought in 2011. The staged ones gave me a cold feeling - like I was signing on to live in a hotel. (They also remind me of a scene from the book Watership Down, for those of you who have read it). Frankly, I like a few drawings taped to the refrigerator and evidence of real people living there. I know sometimes people dont want to show off their ratty family room sofas - but in that case I think a hybrid of staged and real home is better.

Submitted by svelte on September 12, 2015 - 9:03am.

poorgradstudent wrote:
It depends a little on the property. Sometimes an empty house can feel like a nice blank canvas, and it can also make smaller rooms feel bigger. We also saw plenty of open houses with tacky furniture and art that was a bit of a turn-off.

On the other hand, GOOD staging can help give a "dream house" feel, especially for a home where it may not be obvious how to use the space ideally.

I was about to type this in.

A lot depends on the size of the rooms. If they are small, I would go empty.

If they are average or larger, then it's a toss-up. People with good imaginations will be just fine with empty or staged. People with poor imagination may need to see how the house would look furnished.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 12, 2015 - 11:09am.

njtosd wrote:

We looked at a lot of houses before we bought in 2011. The staged ones gave me a cold feeling - like I was signing on to live in a hotel. (They also remind me of a scene from the book Watership Down, for those of you who have read it). Frankly, I like a few drawings taped to the refrigerator and evidence of real people living there. I know sometimes people dont want to show off their ratty family room sofas - but in that case I think a hybrid of staged and real home is better.

Very interesting perspective.

I know people who like new houses because they don't like the thought of people having lived in their homes.

I have my vacation rentals setup like hotel suites. And people love it. I was told that "lived in" spaces made people feel uncomfortable.

Personally, if I were to buy a move-in ready house, I'd like the kitchen to be perfectly clean. There's an ick factor to touching greasy kitchen cabinets. My observation is that few people ever wipe their wood cabinets, especially if the color is dark. Once the crud is caked in, it's impossible to clean.

Submitted by spdrun on September 12, 2015 - 2:39pm.

Personally, I don't give a flying rat's arse, so I don't get those people. I rent out my apt when I travel sometimes, and it doesn't bother me. Not a lot of stuff in there that would be valuable to a thief.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 12, 2015 - 4:47pm.

Dup

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 12, 2015 - 4:46pm.

Sod, one of my rich Canadian neighbors from Vancouver only spends about 2 weeks at his Vegas condo. He cannot rent it out because his wife cannot stand the thought of strangers in her bed. It's their most expensive hotel room.

Submitted by spdrun on September 12, 2015 - 4:47pm.

Buy a second mattress? Duh.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 14, 2015 - 3:36pm.

spdrun wrote:
Buy a second mattress? Duh.

You're so adaptable. Lucky you.

You know, people a fussy because they can. You're right not to give a rat's ass because humans are very adaptable. Take the example of the refugees in Europe. Before the events that made them refugees, many had nice homes and nice lives. They may have had servants and were fussy about the arrangement of their homes or the food they ate. Now they sleep on the floor begging for asylum.

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