Selling A House With A Wood Shop - Leave It For Showing Or Empty It?

My neighbor is selling his house. He has a wood shop in his basement, maybe 15 x 25. Table saw, jointer, planer, bandsaw, a couple of workbenches, etc. The shop is at ground level, with a door to the back yard. Some pretty nice stuff has come out that shop.
The rest of the basement is unfinished, basically one large room with the furnace, water heater, washer, dryer and some storage shelves. Oh yeah, there's a shower stall bathroom in the corner. The basement can be accessed by stairs from the kitchen or through the shop. They 2 separate spaces. (It's sloped lot, allowing for a walk-out basement in the rear for the shop.)
His realtor has told him that he should empty the shop before showing the house, so he has moved all of his equipment and material to storage until his new house is ready.
What are your thoughts? Would you have left the shop as staging or emptied the room like the realtor suggested? I have my own shop (not as nice as his) so I'm biased. If I was looking for a house and it had space for a shop I would think it would be nice to see it set up as staging. If staging bedrooms and kitchens is all the rage these days, why not stage a shop?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 1 Apr 2017 07:20:22 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

I would have emptied it out, cleaned it up REALLY well, and set the shop up to show how useful the space is - perhaps with an almost finished or just finished project to show it off.. Make sure all small tools etc are locked up safely, of course!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2017 10:20 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

A noisy dusty wood shop in a house? Uhhh!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 10:20:25 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

As long as it can be cleaned up, made neat and organized, I'd leave it. I remember looking at a house some years ago where one section of the basement was set up for reloading ammo. He had several machines there, set up for different cartridges. I wondered how many people who looked at it even knew what it was.
As long as it's neat, I'd consider a wood working shop part of staging. If someone wants to use the space for something else, it's not hard to visualize it empty.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2017 10:20 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Realtor is probably right. Few people have a shop compared to the families just looking for space. Lots of extra work moving stuff to storage though. I may have taken the chance and left it for that reason.
I've watch some of the House Hunter shows and yes, it is for TV, but some of the reasons to reject a house are just silly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat 01 Apr 2017 08:09:16a, Ed Pawlowski told us...

A lot of the prospective buyers ae just silly. They'll reject a house because of a light fixture. How difficult s it to replace that? :-)
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 01 Apr 2017 16:40:43 GMT, Wayne Boatwright

Around here the picky ones continue to rent or live in mom and dad's basement - - -unless they've got LOTS of money. I stopped at an open house around the corner last week - a small bungalow on a medium sized lot (45X95?) that had not been updated since the mid seventies - listed at $350, sold over $385 in less than 4 days - and it needed at least $35000 in work to bring it up to a reasonable standard, in my eyes. Any work that had been done, such as replacing a few windows, had been done the cheap way, with inserts instead of frame out - and the owners had run forced air heating ducts under the concrete floors in the basement. It had also been smoked in - and not just a little bit. A;ll of the floors squeaked, the finished basement needed a complete re-do, and you couldn't open the door of a corolla in the garage. It was overlength so 2 "hogs" could be parked end to end. and still have lots of room. The back deck was off the garage, was a step UP from the garage, and needed to be totally replaced, and the 45 year old asphalt driveway was also well past it's "best before date" The kitchen cabinets were still the originals, and the tiny kitchen was very tired looking.
Just around the corner there was also a backsplit semi listed for 350K. I didn't look at it but it also sold in days.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat 01 Apr 2017 12:27:39p, told us...

I'm not in the market for a house and I doubt that we'll ever leave where we currently live. If we do, however, it will be into a brand new condo or coop. We're too old to be fooling around "fixing" things. :-)
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2017 4:04 PM, Wayne Boatwright wrote:

My plan too. Though we'd like to have everything on one floor now, it was not a consideration when we moved here 36 years ago. The thought of moving tires me out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat 01 Apr 2017 06:16:15p, Ed Pawlowski told us...

We're on one floor now, but we have a rather large patio (65' x 15-18') which has 3 large flowering trees and the surrounding walls are covered with bougainvillea, all of which showers debris year round. We don't want to have to maintain it. Fortunately there are plenty of condos on one floor with sheltered balconies or patios that would eliminate the problem we now have. I do agree, the thought of movng tires me out too.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When we used to tour home shows we discovered many things were undersized to make the rooms look bigger. Smaller kitchen table, smaller couch in the living room, etc. I laid down on a bed I thought was a queen bed, and my feet hung several inches off the end of the bed. :)
Maybe you need to do the same when staging a shop. A huge cabinet saw, 21" band saw, 12" jointer, and 4x8 assembly table will probably make that space look tiny and cramped. Stage it with a tiny work bench and some small benchtop tools and WOW what a huge shop! :)
Otherwise, just clean it up good and give it a fresh coat of paint.
Oh, and drawers and cabinets. People LOVE drawers and cabinets. :) Gives them a place to stash all their Shtuff.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2017 10:20 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Empty. Because not everyone else has a wood shop fantasy. Bedroom and kitchens are used by EVERYONE and staging is obvious.
An empty room allows people to envision their own layout. Even if some of us can envision a room to their own items with stuff in it, many cannot see beyond what's in it and that could be the difference of a purchase or not.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Taking a contrary position, in a "hot" market selling an occupied house is easier than an empty one - if the house is empty, what's wrong with it? Also, a bit of furniture hides the wear and tear a little bit - andin a hot market, unless the house is rough, painting it will not generally pay for itself, even if you paint it yourself. Everyone wants their own colors and very often end up repainting what you just painted.
What I see here, is a house painted a year or so before sale - so it looks "well maintained" and doesn't look like someone "put lipstick on the pig" so sell it, sells best.
When I see a freshly painted house - particularly one that is not VERY well done,it makes me ask "what's it hiding"? - and generally, when I take a good look, there IS a pig under the lipstick.
In a slow market, it MIGHT make it sell quicker to have fresh paint because it may appeal to those who are really stretching themselves and can't see spending an extra hundred dollars to freshen it up with their own colors before moving in., so they'll buy one that's "prettier"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2017 3:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Placing furniture strategically compared to a full work shop is an apples to oranges comparison.
You're also comparing an empty home to an empty room. Major difference again. There are also several reasons why a house could be empty such as from spur of the moment transfers for employees or military for example. Doesn't mean something is wrong with the home.
Realtors will advise to paint with neutral colors if needed or a simple off white. Special colors are what pushes people away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In a hot market like we have, where houses generally sell for above listing price in 3 or 4 days, most houses are listed and sold while still occupied. If a house is on the market for more than a week or so, there is something wrong with it, or a deal fell through. If the deal fell through, was it due to an inspection issue?? Or because the buyer's financing fell through?
In a sluggish market, the rules definitely change. In a hot market you don't spend any more than you need to, because it will NOT have a great effect on the final price, or how fast it will sell.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Around here right now you could sell a chicken coupe, and anything better than that has multiple offers - if you are not going in at least 30K over asking you won't get it. I know people who have "lost" 5 or 6 houses at 30K over asking. We are too close to Toronto, where the average price of a single detatched house topped 1.3 million last month. You can drive from the far north end of Waterloo to western Toronto in less time than you can drive from eastern toronto - even on a bad day (just over an hour) or even downtown (1 1/2 hours on a good day- up to 3 hours in rush hour, with no major accidents. 6 and 8 lanes in both directions on the 401.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2017 3:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Markets are very regional and can even vary from one side of town to the other. Same house in different areas might be $100,000 difference.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/17 3:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I've watched the home-selling shows a few times, and simply couldn't believe the prices that houses were selling for in Canada.
A question: How do ordinary working people PAY such prices? How can they afford that much?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2017-04-01 11:24 PM, John Albert wrote:

I have no idea how people do it, I do own a house in Toronto, but bought it over 20 years ago, I could not afford to buy this house now.
--
Froz....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/2/2017 11:14 AM, FrozenNorth wrote:

Mortgage interest rates are low, might help. I was stuck with a 9% interest rate for 20 years 45 years ago but paid it off faster. Now I think they are around 3%.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.