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Why An Empty Home Is Difficult To Sell

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With median prices rising in Sarasota, a small amount of inventory competition, homeowners considering selling are in a ripe environment. Buyers have just as much incentive because of rising median prices and still near-historic interest rates. The process of selling a home is a challenging one but definitely not insurmountable. One of the obstacles some sellers face is trying to market an empty home. You might wonder if there's really a difference between an empty house and an occupied property. Experienced real estate professionals know there indeed is a difference but the reasons easily alude.

Why an Empty Home is Difficult to Sell


It could be time for you to buy a bigger home, shorten your commute, or even downsize. Whatever the reason, you should understand there's a real combination of art and science which goes into selling a home. After all, you want a good return-on-investment and to sell as soon as possible but there are factors which must be taken into consideration. For instance, as the seller, you are required by Florida law to make certain disclosures. So, if you did or know about unpermitted work on the property, you'll have to deal with it prior to placing it on the multiple listing service.

If the listing for your home hasn’t been attracting buyers for a few weeks in a fast-paced real estate market, or for a few months in a slower one, you certainly have good reason to be worried. A home doesn’t sell due to a variety of factors, some of which you can control and some of which you can’t. --Realtor.com

Aside from legal requirements is crafting a realistic, actionable marketing strategy. If you are going to move before you sell or are selling a vacant investment rental property, you should know an empty home presents its own set of challenges. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of real estate professionals dread the prospect of showing an empty property. It's due to their previous experiences which demonstrate the obstacles of marketing an unoccupied property. Here are the reasons why an empty home is difficult to sell:


  • Little to no inspiration. One unfortunate but real fact every real estate professional knows and understands is buyers have little to no imagination. This isn't a criticism, it's just a common observation. Think of it this way: how many times have you needed to create something, only to stare in anxiety at a blank sheet of paper or a blank screen? The same phenomenon occurs when buyers walk into an empty house. There's simply no visual stimulation to spark their imaginations. It explains the highly cited statistic in real estate sales and home staging industries that only 1 in 10 people are able to imagine a space in a different way than they see it.

  • No defined or existing layout. When you expand upon this scenario, it's not difficult to accept the fact buyers also cannot easily arrange their furniture and decor in an empty home. Because there is no defined space, buyers (as you would be) are confused about what would fit where. Even if they are able to measure the space on-site, it's still difficult for them to visualize how the layout would look and even more difficult to imagine traffic flow, function, and use.

  • Imperfections are easy to see. A huge downside to marketing an empty property is buyers will focus on the property's imperfections -- a lot. In fact, it will be their sole focus because there's nothing else to capture their attention. The bottom line is little problems will balloon into huge objections and buyers will form a negative impression which will be hard, if not impossible to reverse.

  • No way to emotionally connect. An empty home lacks personality. Now, you might be thinking, "Why is it the same advice about depersonalizing accompanies so many how-to home selling articles?" Well, it's because the furniture, decor, and layout transform a house into a home. Without a personality, which is to say, without a theme, there is nothing for buyers to connect to and be inspired. When you think about it for a moment, it becomes clear while it's difficult to emotionally connect.

  • Really big curb appeal confusion. You probably know great curb appeal helps to sell a home. But great curb appeal in an empty home will only disappoint buyers. They'll expect their experience will continue and see something as impressive as the curb appeal outside, not a blank, boring space. If the curb appeal is lacking, buyers will form a negative impression and after seeing the house is empty, will have even more objections.


If you're considering selling your home, contact usfor a free market evaluation. We are a full-service, professional services team and serve all of Sarasota, including near West of the Trail, Siesta Drive, Downtown Sarasota, Westfield Southgate and elsewhere.