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Vacant / Empty Homes and Properties For Sale
The common misconception out there is there is no need for Home Staging services in a property for sale that is sitting vacant or empty, or completely devoid of furnishings of any kind.
This couldn't be further from the truth.
In fact, in today's day in age, the majority of potential home buyers do all of their initial searching for properties on the internet. This means that they browse the MLS site, ComFree site, or a particular agent's site as their first step in the process. They surf through photographs and virtual tours and whittle the results down to a "short list" of properties they are actually interested in investigating further.
In summary, the majority of buyers are very visually motivated. These people have to be able to quickly assess the amount of available space in the home, and be able to envision their own belongings within the walls of the property.
The simple fact is that the majority of people have a tough time computing the amount of available space visually without some kind of reference point in the room. They crave a realistic sense of scale for comparison purposes.
This is why Home Staging is, in fact, invaluable in your empty property.
You wonder, "How does one Stage a property when there are no existing furnishings in the home?"
In these cases, Home Staging Professionals will set up at least one "Vignette" within the property, and then make sure that there is at least one photo of that space displayed in all the marketing materials. A vignette is a display of sorts. A space is set up and designed just as if there is someone actively living in it. For example, we may set up a vignette in a dining area, or a living room. We simply adorn the space in warm neutral hues and use room-purpose-appropriate pieces and soft furnishings.
This gives these visually driven buyers at least one entire space for a sense of scale and a reference point. The vignette WILL be the one key that brings those potentially lost prospects into your home, and increases the chance of a speedy sale. By not setting up at least one vignette, you are essentially eliminating a large portion of the active buyers out there.
When we say setting up a vignette in an empty property is important, you are wondering, "How do we do that when there is no available furnishings?" There are few options. You can rent everything you need, even for small periods of time (including artwork, furniture, lighting, throw rugs, etc). You can borrow items from friends and family for a short period. And, you can also use items from your current residence for the short period of time.
Fragrances, Odours, Smells: Huge Impact on First Impressions
As we know, our five senses are what determine the impressions we get in a new environment. We also know that that the First Impression made on a potential buyer while viewing your property is the most important one. This is THE impression that determines whether or not they will pursue yours as the property of choice. Our noses tell us a lot about the quality, cleanliness, and general state of upkeep within a home.
Have you ever gone to visit a friend or family member, arrived at their home for the first time, stepped inside the front door, and had your nose hit with even a somewhat unpleasant odour? WE ALL HAVE!! The said odour could be caused by pets, cigarette smoke, un-laundered clothing, ailing plants, or any of many unidentifiable sources. No matter which source is the culprit, we can all remember a time when an odour prevented us from being fully comfortable in someone's home. We can all remember a time when the smells within a home prevented us from feeling okay with sitting on the furniture during our visit. We have all experienced a time when the smells in a home have completely distracted us from the original purpose of our visit. The quality of the visit was shot. And, in the end, once we left, what was the most memorable part of our visit? Yes, it was the upset caused by the offensive smell.
We have to remember, also, that what smells pleasant to us is not neccessarily going to smell wonderful to other people.
When showing our homes to potential buyers, air quality is incredibly important.
But, the main secret here is: AVOID the use of Chemical Air Fresheners AT ALL COSTS!!!!
There are many people out there who are allergic to fragrant chemicals. Many people are offended by them. And, most people know full well that when the smell of air fresheners is evident, that they were most likely used to mask a different odour. Examples of these air fresheners are Glade, AirWick, Febreeze, etc. This includes use of the scented candles made by these companies.
The best, most honest, least offensive, and safest procedure to follow when trying to ensure good air quality within your property prior to a showing is as follows:
Crack open as many windows as possible at least a couple of hours prior to showing your home. Depending on the weather outside, you can alter this a little. Also, the use of either ceiling fans or stand-alone fans in combination with the open windows helps to circulate and move out stale air and replace it with fresh outdoor air. And, if you are fond of pleasant, welcoming, and comforting fragrance, you can make use of natural essential oils or a display bowl full of assorted citrus fruits. You can also put a shallow baking pan in the oven on low heat with a couple inches of water in the bottom. You can then place a couple of cinnamon sticks and a few dashes of nutmeg directly in the water. Make sure you continually check on the pan so that you don't end up boiling the water.
The most important tip here is that instead of attempting to mask a smell, the best practise is to seek, find, and eliminate the source of the smell. A funky odour can sometimes be caused by something as small as that piece of banana bread that you took with you to work last month, didn't end up eating, brought home, and started using a different bag the following day. The CAUSE is usually quite human and innocent, but is also sometimes quite elusive.