Is an empty house worth less?
In theory, an empty house should be worth every bit as much as a furnished home. After all, your buyers will expect it to be empty when they move in. However, it doesn’t always work that way.
Anything that makes a house less attractive to buyers will ultimately make it worth less. Without a set of attractive photographs, depicting an aspirational lifestyle in the property, most buyers will simply swipe straight past the online listing. Fewer interested buyers will mean less competition to push the price up. What’s more, the longer you’re on the market, the more people will expect a price reduction.
Do empty houses look smaller or bigger?
One of the golden rules of selling is to remove all clutter from your home, as this can make it look small and cramped for space. With this in mind, you’d expect a completely empty home to look bigger, but it doesn’t. People overestimate the size of their furniture and the space they need around it, and this can shrink their perception of an empty house.
This is why new home builders always have a fully furnished show home on their development. This helps buyers to see what the property could look like with their own furniture inside. Some have even been known to cheat by using undersized furniture to make their houses look bigger.
If you’re not convinced about the perceived size issue, try visiting your nearest new development. Look at the show home and look in the windows of an empty property and see which you think looks bigger and more attractive. You’ll see the same is true when you look at homes on Rightmove or Zoopla. Even though you know empty homes are not smaller, you can’t shake the feeling that they are.
Ways to make an empty house sell faster
When you want to sell an empty house fast, you need to bear in mind all the red flags we’ve discussed above. You want to make your home as welcoming as possible for potential buyers, whether they’re driving past for a quick look, or viewing in detail with an agent.
First impressions last, so make sure that the outside of the property is neat and tidy. Clean the windows and spruce up the paintwork, arrange the bins neatly and keep the garden borders weeded and attractive.
Make sure you air out the property the day before you have viewers, to avoid damp or musty smells, then put the heating on overnight so that the house feels warm and cosy. Even an empty property can get dusty and dirty, so make sure you clean through and hoover before the viewers arrive.
Sticking down peeled corners of the wallpaper and repainting the woodwork can quickly, and cheaply, refresh a home. Adding curtains and lampshades can also make it feel a little more lived in and less echoey.