Selling a house, is it better empty or occupied

Rouxenator

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My mom-in-law has been trying to sell her house since March. She moved down to Cape Town to be closer to us so the house is empty at the moment. The first estate agent could not sell it within three months. The second estate agent is now trying to sell it at a lower price.

The agent's excuse is that an empty house is harder to sell than an occupied one since the buyers can't always visualise what they can do with the space. I would reason buying an empty house is better since you can take occupation sooner.
 

Bona Botse

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I reckon the visualisation comment has some truth to it - houses really do seem small(er) when they're empty, which might influence buying decisions. I used to house hunt with a tape measure.
 

Praemon

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My mom-in-law has been trying to sell her house since March. She moved down to Cape Town to be closer to us so the house is empty at the moment. The first estate agent could not sell it within three months. The second estate agent is now trying to sell it at a lower price.

The agent's excuse is that an empty house is harder to sell than an occupied one since the buyers can't always visualise what they can do with the space. I would reason buying an empty house is better since you can take occupation sooner.

On the other hand, I get put off if the current tenant is messy, or if the décor is horrendous. I'm currently house hunting, and generally I prefer viewing an empty house because it tends to look better, and also because it means I can view at any time, not just when it suits the tenant.

Of course, if no one is actually living there, and you can setup some furniture that helps visualize the living areas, then I guess that does help - assuming it's decent furniture and works in the rooms they're in.
 
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ToxicBunny

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It all depends on the type of person who is house hunting.

I prefer an empty space because then I can visualise things for myself, rather than be shoe-horned into what other people use a space for.
 

agentrfr

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Best if both: Try see if you can "rent" minimalist furniture, and a futuristic TV / gadget cool thing.

It stays neat for the neatophiles but remains empty enough to be roomy and allow for the potential buyer to visualise what they would set it up as.
 

Avenue

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There may be some truth to it, who knows, these are salesmen you're talking to, but the bottom line is it's just a really bad time to sell.
 

blunomore

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Also important that, even if it is empty, to be sure that it is spotless.
 

AlmightyBender

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^^^ this one

Just make sure the place is super neat and tidy. I recently viewed a place and it was a disgusting. Two male students staying there. Was very difficult to view the place objectively.
 

Rouxenator

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To give a little more background, it is in a complex and last week a similar unit sold for slightly more than what the empty one is selling. It was with another agent so that is where the excuse came from, the unit that was sold is occupied right now.
 

noxibox

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As a buyer I'd prefer it empty, as a seller I'd prefer it furnished. Furniture is a good way to cover up defects.

I reckon the visualisation comment has some truth to it - houses really do seem small(er) when they're empty, which might influence buying decisions. I used to house hunt with a tape measure.
They seem bigger to me when empty.
 

noxibox

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To give a little more background, it is in a complex and last week a similar unit sold for slightly more than what the empty one is selling. It was with another agent so that is where the excuse came from, the unit that was sold is occupied right now.
But how similar are they?
 

F1 Fan

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It sounds like you have allowed a sole madate? Im assuming you have no choice as no one is there to look after the place?

3months is too long with one agent though.
 

Rouxenator

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Sole mandate yes - expires in October. Any suggestion on what to opt for after that ?
 

F1 Fan

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Sole mandate yes - expires in October. Any suggestion on what to opt for after that ?

If you not there to meet with different agents, then you have no choice really. But I would give sole mandates for a month max.
 

Cius

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Did a lot of house hunting and furnished or empty made little difference to me. Far bigger factors where location, price, suit our needs, levies, etc. In fact after some thought I think I prefer unfurnished as it makes it easier to spot damp etc.
 
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