Placing your investment property on the market at the end of a tenancy period, whilst it is unoccupied, overcomes many of the obstacles that could lead to a diminished pool of prospective buyers and the poor presentation of your property to market.
On the surface, this seems like a great strategy, but what about the other considerations?
Will prospective purchasers now be left to stare, uninspired, at unloved interiors and unmaintained exteriors? Will they be left to fathom for themselves how the space within the property can be utilised and what the true features are that make the property investment worthy?
This is the risk that many investors are tempted to take, but it is not a wise path to embark upon.
People don’t buy houses, they buy homes (even when they are investors) and it is wise to remember that your purchaser may or may not wish to tenant the property.
In order to engage the maximum number of interested parties, it is absolutely vital to present the property in it’s best light, right from the start of a sales campaign. There is no opportunity to make a second, first impression!
Empty homes don’t sell as easily, as it is so much more difficult for a buyer to make an emotional connection.
"Empty homes don't sell as easily, as it is so much more difficult for a buyer to make an emotional connection..."
In addition, when there is no point of reference, it is difficult to visualize how furniture will fit in a space. For instance, there is visually little difference between a 12m2 and an 18m2 room even though one is nearly 50% larger. This all serves to make the property difficult to differentiate from the competition and if a buyer is unsure, they will not buy.
A vacant property provides no diversion for prospective purchasers which results in a tendency to focus on the negatives, whatever they might be. Every minor defect or negative feature is emphasised and amplified.
The buyer is distracted from looking at the house as a whole and begins to question the motivation of the seller and to contemplate if a bargain price is negotiable – a train of thought you, as the vendor, do not want your seller to engage in.
Unoccupied, un-staged properties do not photograph well and therefore do not attract as much buyer traffic. Staging should not be considered a cost when statistics indication at that an amount equivalent to 1 – 3% of the asking price spent on professionally staging a property can result in a 5 – 10% higher sales price.
Staging a property for sale has a four-fold effect, enhancing prospective purchasers visualisation of the properties potential, therefore drawing increased traffic to the property providing the opportunity for increased sales prices and a shorter time on market.
What do you think? Have you ever inspected or purchased a vacant property where you think the perceived value would have been higher if it has been presented differently? Please share your experiences in the comments.
Jo Powell is the Director of 3 Pea's Property Styling. Combining her creative skills with her accounting background to assist her clients to achieve the best possible outcomes in the sale of their property.