Saturday, May 20, 2017

Furnished properties sell faster....

As any estate agent will tell you, when home hunting  potential buyers are more likely to be attracted by houses or apartments that are presented furnished rather those which have been stripped of their contents as the previous owners/sellers have already moved out. This is of course the reason why speculative housing developers invariably feature a 'show house' to give buyers an idea of what the property could like for potential purchasers.

Totally empty properties are difficult to visualise and viewers are often unable to imagine what their furniture would look like occupying the huge empty spaces around - though in fact some rooms may look smaller when empty than they actually are. Empty spaces tend to show off any minor defects - tired decor, worn or damaged floors, loose electrical fittings - that should have been put right by the previous owners before putting the property on the market.

There are a number of possible solutions if you find yourself having to sell your property in its empty state, among them the tried and tested 'home staging'. Proponents of this alternative include France's best known estate agent Stephen Plaza who in addition to owning a network of estate agencies is the star of several TV programmes such as 'Chasseurs de'appartement' (apartment hunters) and 'Maison √† vendre' (house for sale) both on Channel 6. Plaza works with a number of designers and contractors who, in the worst cases, transform typical over-crowded, over-furnished pre- and post-war houses owned by our parents and grand-parents, and turns them into their light and airy modern equivalent. Typical budgets for a major transformation are often around 2 to 3 per cent of the asking price, and almost invariably result in a number of offers and a sale - including many which have languished on the market for weeks or months.  

If your home is empty but otherwise in good repair, you could employ a designer specialising in home staging who can furnish all or some of the rooms with furniture and acccessories for the occasion - say, the living room and one of the bedrooms if you are on a tight budget.  A lower cost solution is to present a computerised version on a laptop or similar showing what a room could look life when furnished. And floor plans which over the years seem to have disappeared from the details supplied by estate agents invariably help potential buyers to visualise where their furniture might fit.

When you decide to put your property on the market is the time to take photographs showing it furnished, as picture of empty rooms are almost worthless when trying to sell.

Finally, it does without saying that your pre-sale preparations should include fixing all those nagging little defects you may have been putting off for years, such as loose tiles, unfinished paintwork, dripping taps, cracked windows, and being ruthless in your de-cluttering.