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RISMEDIA, April 12, 2010—A vacant house is like a vacant stare. Something is just not right.

Trying to sell a vacant house adds obstacles and depresses the sales price, says Showhomes, a nationally franchised home staging company. Showhomes uses live-in home stagers to lower the cost of staging and produce faster home sales. Take a look at their top five reasons why selling a vacant house is often a mistake in today’s market:

1. People don’t simply buy houses; they buy the next chapter of their lives.
This is an emotional experience and emotion influences what people buy and how much they will pay. Vacant houses are devoid of life, and the chance to make an emotional connection is lost.

2. Vacancy distracts buyers from looking at the house itself.
They wonder: “Is this a divorce? Why did they move out? Are they selling because they have money problems? Is this home hard to sell?” They’ll make a low-ball offer, thinking the owner is desperate.

3. When a house is vacant, buyers focus on flaws.
They look at nail holes, carpet wear and gaps in the molding rather than how the space works. In a vacant house, floors, walls and ceilings are all the buyers see. This drives the price down.

4. People can’t visualize how furniture fits.
An empty bedroom might appear awkward or a living room might seem cavernous. Some spaces might confuse buyers because a use is not obvious. Buyers are derailed and move on to the next house.

5. Vacant houses don’t show as well as staged and occupied homes.
Without people, even the best home quickly looks and smells vacant. Dust settles, leaves scatter, and stale smell spreads. These cues often shorten the showing time, leading to fewer sales.

“Home owners don’t realize how much harder a vacant home is to sell. In today’s market, you have to win the beauty contest,” says Thomas Scott, VP of Marketing at Showhomes. “Vacant houses simply underperform staged homes and the increased sales price provides an excellent return on what staging costs. Choosing to stage your home should be an easy decision in today’s market.”

For more information, visit www.showhomes.com.

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