Cynthia's Blog

June 22, 2009

Should You Rent Furniture for Your Vacant Listing?

Cynthia's Blog > Stage to Sell Homes

To Furnish or NOT to Furnish a Vacant Home with Rented Furniture?


While it is true that vacant homes appear cold and unremarkable while their furnished competitors appear warm and inviting, it is also true that not all vacant listings are created equally.  If you are a seller considering rented furniture to stage your home to sell, you should know that not all vacant homes are good candidates for rented furniture:



Price Range: A moderate- to high-priced home is a better candidate than a home priced for first-time home buyers.  A more expensive home often needs the added glitz that furnishings provide, helping the home feel expensive and supporting the price being asked.

Competition: All things being equal—price, square footage, location, floor plan, age—the best-looking and most updated homes sell first.  If better-looking, better-priced homes in the same area keep entering the market, they will keep pushing the others to the bottom of the list.

Location: Is the vacant home in a highly coveted area where homes typically sell quickly?  The only reason this home might be furnished is to get top dollar for it and/or to sell fast.  Is the home on a busy street?  The addition of stunning (and sound-muffling) landscaping and/or a fence may be a better investment.

Days-on-Market: If the average DOM for the neighborhood/area is high, you can bet the furnished homes aren’t selling either.  If the average DOM is low, are there other issues that need to be remedied? (See Buyer Feedback).

Buyer Feedback: Does the home need a good scrubbing?  Is the Inspection going to reveal a long list of fixes?  Is the home creating a sense that it will need too much work?  Spending money on furnishings won’t cover up the flaws that will still need to be addressed (typically with a much lower price).  Any available funds should go into the buyer’s pocket rather than the home stager’s.  That said, I’ve helped prioritize many successful To-Do Lists for sellers that will help them use their funds wisely!

New Construction: If vacant new construction isn't selling and the "slightly used" home is in a price range where there is a glut of inventory, furnishings could well be the best option.

Buyer Pool: Are there many competing $500,000+ homes on the market but not an abundance of buyers for that price range—furnished or otherwise?  Spending a few thousand dollars on furnishings sounds better than a $30,000 price drop.  If a home is furnished in conjunction with being updated, having no “issues” and priced correctly, the home should at least make it to the buyers’ short-list.

Design Issues: Furniture can resolve the “How do I arrange furniture in this room?” question, especially if the room appears too small or large, too open or angled.

Feel free to schedule a Walk-Through with Notes or to request a Furniture Proposal.  Let me know how I can help!


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