Selling an empty house vs. furnished – which is better? Opinion is divided. Some say that potential buyers are more likely to see the appeal of a house if it’s furnished, while others say that furnishing a house for sale is expensive, inconvenient and not worth the effort.
Whether you sell your house furnished or unfurnished will likely come down to your personal preference and situation, but to make the decision easier, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of each option below.
Pros of selling a house furnished
Most vendors who sell a property furnished do so either because it’s the easiest option (such as if they’re living in the property) or because they recognise that furnishings can impact a house’s perceived liveability.
- Furnishings can help prospective buyers get a better picture of how the space can be used
- Increases the aesthetic appeal of a property, making it seem like a home rather than a house
- Helps cover up small imperfections like chipped paint, marks on the carpet etc.
- A beautifully furnished house can add to its perceived value and help attract a higher price tag
Cons of selling a house furnished
On the other hand, choosing to sell a house furnished can mean extra work and costs, and using the wrong furnishings can do more harm than good.
- It’s inconvenient if you’re aiming to sell and move out as quickly as possible, and don’t want to leave furniture removal to the last minute
- Can be expensive if you use professional staging services or hire furnishings for the purpose of the selling the property
- Leaving furnishings in can make the space look smaller
- Unattractive furnishings can detract from the home’s aesthetic appeal
Pros of selling a house unfurnished
Vendors typically decide to sell properties unfurnished because it tends to be more convenient and less costly. In some cases, showing a property unfurnished also adds to its perceived value because it appears more spacious and clean.
- Typically less expensive to sell a house unfurnished as furniture hire and staging costs don’t apply
- Showcases a property’s maximum space and core architecture, which some buyers prefer
- Lack of furnishings means one less thing to worry about for showings – an unfurnished property can be inspected at a moment’s notice, which could see it sell quicker
Cons of selling a house unfurnished
On the other side of the coin, an unfurnished home can lose some of its character and aesthetic appeal to potential buyers. It’s also more difficult to hide imperfections if a home is unfurnished.
- Potential buyers could be turned off by a blank slate and have trouble visualising how they might furnish the property themselves
- An empty home can seem dull and lifeless
- Could seem like the property has been on the market for a long time or cause speculation about why the owners were so quick to leave
- Lack of furnishings means nothing goes unnoticed, including imperfections
So, should you sell furnished or unfurnished? The answer is that it depends on your preferences and willingness to spend money. Some houses present better when tastefully furnished, which can help secure a higher price.
You should only use your own furniture if it’s impeccably presented and has broad appeal. Otherwise, hiring furniture or using professional staging services could be the way to go. If space is an issue, it’s usually a better idea to sell unfurnished as it showcases the maximum amount of space to prospective buyers.
Professional home staging: The ultimate solution?
These days, more and more sellers are choosing to have their homes professionally staged when selling to resolve the furnished vs. unfurnished debate once and for all.
A professional home stager will choose fresh, neutral furnishings to complement the property while it’s on the market. The benefit of this approach is that showcases the property’s lifestyle appeal and liveability while removing the burden of having your own furniture on the property during the sales process.
A good professional home stager will also go above and beyond the bare essentials to add the finishing touches to a home and create a warm and inviting ambience. This might include flourishes like:
- Warm-lit floor and table lamps
- Flowers and plants
- Scented candles
- Wall art
- Area and throw rugs
- Love seats
- Pillows and cushions
- Baskets A home stager will also cater to the typical buyer profile with appropriate furnishings. For example, a home suited to young first-time homeowners might have a room set up like a nursery. These are tactics to help prospective buyers envisage what it would be like living in the space.
Deciding whether or not professional property styling is right for you depends on your needs and budget. Generally speaking, if you’re in a position to move your furniture out and have your home professionally staged, it’s worth doing so as it helps present your home in its best light.
How does home staging work and how much does it cost?
Real estate agents usually don’t offer property styling services directly, but can organise home staging through a third party. Alternatively, you can compare and find your own property stylist online.
Typically, a length of time is agreed on for your property to be staged, which aligns with the amount of time you expect it to stay on the market (usually around six weeks). The cost of home staging services varies depending on how big your property is and how long you need it to be staged for. Estimates range from $2,000 to $8,000+, so it’s worth shopping out to find the right fit for your budget.
More on this topic...
- What to know if you’re styling to sell on a budget
- 15 home-selling improvements that take less than an hour
- Harsh truths that will help you sell your home
Looking to sell your home? Contact us to book in a free, no-obligation appraisal with our expert local agents, and find out how we can help you achieve a successful sale for your property in 2019.