Are you staging a house that you bought to sell at a profit?

If so, chances are that the property is vacant. When no one lives in a house for sale, the situation can make your job as seller easier in some ways and more difficult in other ways.

Let's try to make it as easy as possible by reviewing what's unique about selling a vacant property. 

The advantages 

First, once the home is staged, no one is messing it up on a daily basis.

There's no cooking, sleeping, showering, coming and going, or hanging out. So, the house stays clean, except for whatever dirt a house tour creates, and some dust, fingerprints, or cobwebs.

And scheduling a showing is certainly easier than when advance notice is required. 

There's no last minute checklist to go over, no pets to ferry around the neighborhood in the family car, no fluffing pillows, polishing faucets, and stashing the toiletries.

Staging can be done with an eye towards maximizing aesthetics. Since The Model Home Look isn't the way most people actually live, you're free to concentrate on pretty first and practical second. Within reason.

The downside

But there are other ways that an unoccupied home will challenge you if you are a home stager or home seller.

You'll need to find ways to furnish the home and still stay within budget. Renting furniture can get expensive, and buying furniture is impractical as well.

Break-ins and vandalism can be a problem.

The home can have a sterile and empty feeling, an extra challenge to your staging skills.

You're never sure if the property is show-ready. The last home tour may have left pillows scrunched, toilet seats up, dirty footprints through the living room, fingerprints on the stainless fridge door, rugs wrinkled, bulbs burned out, and cabinet doors open wide. You can't expect a Realtor to be your tidy-up person.

How about that exterior? Landscaping can get messy if you don't have a routine system -- either yourself or a lawn service -- to take care of the home's exterior.

Lastly, remember that utilities need to be kept up, which adds to the ongoing costs of maintaining the property until it sells. Electricity is a must for showing a home. Running water and some degree of heating and cooling are usually a necessity as well.

Does your front door look inviting? Does it look like 
someone lives there, even if no one does?
When I began this blog, Mr. Lucky and I had just decided to purchase another home for the purpose of fixing and selling it for a profit. We worked on the property for six weeks, staged it to look lived-in, turned it over to a Realtor, and sold it profitably in 45 days.

Flipping a home doesn't always bring in a hefty profit. Like any business, there are risks, and your job is to minimize them. One thing is a fact -- staged homes sell faster for more money.

If you follow the advice I've gained from my experience as a real estate investor -- the advice I offer in my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar I promise you'll show you how to eliminate the risks!

Top photo: Better Homes and Gardens