I showed six houses yesterday around Irvington yesterday priced between $500,000 and $750,000. All of them were vacant. There are disadvantages and advantages to being occupied or vacant while a listed.
With a vacant house, what you see is what you get. A piece of furniture doesn’t hide a hole in the wall and the buyer can picture their furniture in the rooms rather than what the seller owns. There is a temptation though for the seller to shut the house down when they walk out the door for the last time. All the lights get turned out and the heat is lowered to an uncomfortable level. Not only can the physical cold be a detracting factor, so can the loss of warmth that decor provides.
You can’t live in a listed house like you live in your house on a normal basis. There is no better way to get your house shown than running out the door late with the bed unmade, the dishes in the sink and yesterday’s clothes still on the floor. Guaranteed way to generate a showing. If you’ve got clutter, it’s time to purge. Box it up or get rid of it. Your basement or garage shouldn’t be your storage facility. Try to get it off-site. Your goal is crisp and clean.
Somewhere in the middle is staging. It can be done with your existing furniture and decor or with hired furniture if the home is vacant. Staging softens the coldness of a vacant house and can offer some sound dampening. A good stager can tell you what needs to be packed up before the sign goes into the yard.