If you decide to move your furniture out before your home is sold and do not want to pay for a professional staging company you may want to consider some light staging. A few simple tricks are leaving a few folded towels in the bathroom, a few books/toys in a child's room or adding a few wine glasses to the kitchen makes potential buyers imagine how they would use the space.
One thing to keep in mind is you want to leave at least one light on in the living room, it helps to deter vandals and possible break-ins.
Hope this advice helps!
Rouse Chamberlin Homes
Staging is always good, neat, attractive, clean gives a slight hint to the buyer where their stuff may look best. Most importantly staging is clutter free so there is still lots of open space so it doesn't clog the mind of the buyer.
A lot of it is personal preference. I have sellers who want to move and leave a little to stage prior to putting their home on the market. Why? Because they feel uncomfortable with buyers looking at their stuff in closets, bathroom cabinets, etc.
The Answer is YES! Vacant homes always sell for less, when being sold next to homes that are lived in. Stage that Home and watch is sell faster and for more money. A vacant home gives the buyer a false idea that the seller is in some kind of trouble and needs to sell fast and will take a lower offer. Most of the time this is not the case at all. Good Luck!
CENTURY 21 Alliance
I hate it when a simple question has such an obvious answer, which I provided originally, but then I have to go get the data to support the obvious answer when I'm refuted, but it appears you may need the following info to know the truth about whether or not a vacant house sells for less money.
First off, with reference to the previous answer, anything that gives the buyer information that can improve their negotiating position, will in the end lead to them making a more informed decision. A buyer that makes a more informed decision is considerably more likely to negotiate for something of value. In the case of a vacant home, the message to the buyer is that the seller isn't living in it and that they have to live somewhere else, therefore, the seller is perceived as being at a disadvantage. The value the buyer is going to now add to their negotiations, to their benefit (read lower offer), is that they are solving a problem the seller of a vacant house has, that a seller that occupies their house doesn't have. That invariable leads to a lower offer and a lower selling price.
Second, does it make sense that someone is going to stage a home with furniture if it doesn't result in a higher sale price? Otherwise, what's the benefit of staging, just so that the potential buyer's can perceive what the house might look like with furniture in it? Then why spend the money on staging if it can't result in a higher sale price, or a faster sale (which itself is a net higher sales price because you get your money faster). Case in point, according to the Christian Science Monitor, March 2006, staged homes sell for 7.4 percent more and twice as fast. And this isn't simply because the furniture and appearance that someone is living in it is better than someone actually living in it, it's because the home doesn't appear vacant.
Third, The Appraisal Journal, published by the Appraisal Institute, published an article in June of 2004 where they analyzed this exact issue. Their conclusion, looking at sales data in the Lexington, KY area proved that in fact, vacant houses do sell for less money and take longer to sell. Anyone who asserts otherwise, just doens't have the facts.
I've provided a link to the article in the web reference to this answer. It's a long and arduous read, but the general conclusion is as I stated above. Keep your house looking occupied and you will make more money and sell your home faster than if it's vacant, period.
Best of luck!
Invariable, yes, vacant houses, all other things being equal, will sell for less than those that appear occupied. It's a simple case of the buyer perceiving that the person selling the home "has to sell" it. The fact that it's vacant simply verifies the buyer's suspicion. Curious, your question is asked from the seller's perspective but your profile says your an agent???