I see it all the time. A seller decides to move while their house is on the market and takes all of their furniture with them. They see no problem with leaving the house empty. In fact, they believe that it may even help the house sell faster.
Outside of the seller being some kind of extreme hoarder, or having very eclectic taste (think unusual color obsessions, taxidermy, etc.), nothing could be further from the truth.
1) It may seem counter-intuitive, but believe it or not, an empty house will look smaller to potential buyers. Remember, you are selling space. The less a buyer sees, the less they want to pay for it. With nothing in the house to give it a sense of dimension, buyers will have a difficult time seeing the full possibility of the space.
2) Studies say that only 10% of people have the ability to visualize. This means that 90% of the people who walk into an empty house will struggle to envision themselves living in the space. If a buyer cannot see herself living in the space, she will have no interest in making an offer and move on to the next property.
3) Leaving the house empty can leave your buyers feeling empty. A vacant house doesn’t give off the warm and inviting feeling that you definitely want a buyer to feel when they’re looking at your property. Imagine the warmth of walking into a room that’s been completely finished with a soft couch and chairs, a nicely woven rug, artwork, beautiful lamps, pillows to sink into, and flickering candlelight on the coffee table. Now imagine that all of that is gone. Kind of an empty feeling, right?
If you truly want to sell your house faster, and for as much money as possible, don’t make the mistake of leaving it empty. Work with a professional home stager. You’ll have a much better chance if you take the time to stage it, or at a minimum, leave your existing furnishings in place.