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Selling a vacant home

Selling a vacant home

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Dear Phyllis,

I received a job transfer, and we purchased another home in North Carolina. Our present home is currently listed for sale. We had movers scheduled to take our furniture to our new home, but my real estate agent told us that once our home is emptied, it will be more challenging to sell. Do you believe this is true? Relocating to NC

Dear Relocating,

Each home seller’s needs are unique, and each sale should be handled accordingly. I understand that a cross-country move is particularly stressful. It really depends on your furnishings; if they are out of fashion, it may be best for them to be gone. But likely, your Realtor is correct; a vacant home can be more challenging to sell. Homes that are more difficult to sell usually sell for less.

Vacant homes can be confusing to potential home buyers who are trying to determine furniture placement. Many will lack the imagination necessary to picture their family living in your home. Keep in mind most home buyers purchase based on emotion. There can be many hurdles for buyers during the escrow process. The loan paperwork is never ending, appraisals can come in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, and sometimes inspection issues arise. Therefore, to sell for the highest possible price, you need your buyer to fall in love with your home, and it can be difficult to love an empty space.

Consult with your Realtor®. You may conclude that it’s best to furnish (stage) the home partially. At a minimum, the entry, living, dining, and family rooms should be furnished and accessorized. If you decide not to hire a home staging professional, at least ensure the walls are freshly painted and the floors are in good shape – an empty home shows every blemish. Warm the home with some plants, flowers, and accessories in the kitchen and baths as well. Best of luck to you on your new job and your move.

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