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Q&A: Is it hard to sell a vacant home?

Empty house in Center Moriches. (February 2008)

Empty house in Center Moriches. (February 2008) Credit: Newsday / Ken Spencer

My husband and I can’t sell our house and have decided that we should move to our retirement home in Florida anyway. Does it take much longer to sell a vacant house?

 Yes, says Joanne Bechhoff of GB Construction and Development, Inc., Manorville-based custom builders. “A vacant house can take considerably longer to sell even if it’s priced right," she says. "When a house is vacant, it is more difficult for people to visualize their family and their things in the house. It is also easier to find flaws with a vacant house, such as awkward room layouts, room sizes, traffic flow etc."

Staging a house, she says, creates warmth, highlights the best features and evokes an emotional response. "If a house is vacant, it will not strike an emotional chord with a potential buyer and be forgettable," she says. 

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