Does a Vacant Home Sell Faster Than an Occupied One

Which is better: Selling your home when it's occupied or when it's vacant?

The short answer to whether or not you should sell your home while it is still occupied is a resounding "yes" from many real estate professionals. Selling a vacant home can be more difficult. Some homebuyers see a vacant home as an invitation to make a lower offer than if the house were occupied.

There are pros and cons to selling both an occupied and a vacant house, but Sioux Falls Realtors know from experience that your goal is to get buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. And that is easier to do when the home is occupied and furnished.

Selling a Vacant Home

Sometimes you do not have a choice in the matter and you have to move out. You may be starting a new job in another town or maybe you have to move in time to register your children for the school year.

If you do relocate and sell your home vacant, there are some benefits. You will not have the responsibility of keeping the house in turnkey condition for buyers, and you won’t have to leave when potential buyers show up. Also, Realtors and agents will find it easy to gain access because they do not have to make an appointment.

But if you do have options, it is almost always better to sell your home while you still live in it rather than trying to sell an empty, vacant house.

Advantages of Selling an Occupied Home

The main advantage to selling your home while it is occupied is that buyers have an easier time visualizing themselves living there. When buyers visit your home, it should tell the story of what their lifestyle will be like when they move in.

An occupied house shows better and it demonstrates to the buyer how furniture can fit in the space. Some Realtors recommend making your home more inviting by baking cookies and lighting a fire in the fireplace when lookers come to call—a quick and easy way of staging your home.

Remaining in the house when you put it on the market can also mask flaws that become painfully obvious once you move out, such as wear and tear on the floors and the need for a fresh coat of paint. And believe it or not, furnished rooms often appear larger than empty rooms.

Additional Benefits of Selling an Occupied Home

When you are still living in your home you can handle any emergencies that might pop up unexpectedly, like a burst water pipe or a leak in the roof. If such a mishap were to occur when the home is vacant you may wind up with a mold problem on your hands.

If you move to your new home before selling your previous property, you are likely to incur additional expenses like duplicate utility bills. An occupied home can also be a deterrent to vandals who might target an empty house.

Preparing an Occupied Home for Sale

Get ready to put your house on the market by decluttering and packing away personal items like trophies, photos, and other personal items that may prevent buyers from seeing themselves in your home. Make it as appealing to a broad range of people as possible with a neutral color palette. Not everyone will like that fire engine red accent wall in the living room!

Your home should not only look good, but it should smell good, too. Selling a home with pets can present a number of challenges like stains and/or odors that could quickly turn off potential buyers. Be sure to eliminate any odor left behind by your furry friend.

While selling an occupied house is preferable, there are some downsides to putting your house on the market while you still live there. You will have to keep the home clean and tidy, and you may have to interrupt your schedule and leave the premises when an agent shows your house to prospective buyers.

Stage your Home

Realtors and real estate agents know that staging can often get you a higher price by creating a good first impression.

You can make potential buyers fall in love by creating vignettes around the house, showcasing what it would be like to live there. It may be worth your while to hire a professional stager, even if your house is vacant and in need of rented furniture.

Start with attractive pots of colorful flowers at the front entrance and create conversational seating areas inside. Place games in the entertainment space and set the dining table so it looks ready to welcome family and friends.

Let Us Help You Sell Your Home

Whether your home is currently occupied or vacant, the professionals at Amy Stockberger Real Estate are here to help with years of experience and unique services like our VIP Club. If you'd like to talk about selling your house in Sioux Falls, SD, simply call us at (605) 376-6780 or utilize our online contact form.