(Closed) The value of staging a home for sale

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
7310 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

As a buyer I never had a problem with looking at an empty house. But I have a pretty active interior decorating imagination, which may play a factor in that.

Post # 4
47202 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@annifer:  Some people do have a hard time visualizing an empty house.

It’s not an issue for me. I really don’t care about a seller’s furniture, artwork etc. I’d rather pay attention to floors in good condition, etc.

You could always try listiing it empty and see how it goes. If you think it would help to have it staged you can always change your mind. You don’t have to have it professionally done at a cost of thousands. Just the basics will do. You can rent a package from one of those furniture rental places.

Post # 5
10452 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Hmm as a buyer, we saw a couple empty houses and I didn’t mind. I actually preferred that over the regular furniture because it was easier to picture my stuff in there. That being said, I don’t think any of the homes we saw had been professionally staged – just tidied up. 

Post # 6
530 posts
Busy bee

I just recently sold my house and bought a new one (moved into the new place on Tuesday!).  I was not in a similar situation because we waited until the house we were selling was under contract before finding a new house.  We had back to back closings on the same day and moved out of one and into the other the next day.

However, when we did sell our realtor told us to remove as much of our stuff as possible and make the space neutral (no pictures, crazy art or weird colored rooms).  His point was you want people to be able to imagine their stuff in the space, which is hard to do if your stuff is overwhelming.  From that perspective, I would guess that an empty house would sell just as fast or faster than a staged home.


Post # 9
708 posts
Busy bee

If you were going to dump some money into an empty home you’re hoping to sell quickly, I’d be inclined to spend it on a meticulous deep cleaning, replacing carpet or resurfacing hardwood, repainting the walls, sprucing up the seasonal landscaping… you get the idea. There are lots of ways to spend that money in actions that add value instead of just illusion.

Post # 10
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@shaka:  +1 a sparkling clean, empty house is much more attractive than a less clean one filled with staged crap. 

Post # 11
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Furniture doesn’t really make that much of a difference.  Updating does!  There is a LARGE house in our neighborhood that has been on sale for a while, and we were wondering why.  We walked into thier open house and OMG, we could tell.  Old carpet, uggly walls, a kitchen in need of a complete demo… At the price point they are asking, no one wants to take that all on. 

Post # 12
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@annifer:  As a new homeowner, we saw many houses, some with furniture, some completely bare. 

The only nice part about furniture being in some of the homes was that it gave you perspecive on the actual size. For some reason when you see an empty room, you tend to “shrink” it in your mind. You assume a queen bed will take up the whole space, when in reality a king fits perfectly & you can throw in 2 more dressers!

Post # 13
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’d stage a few rooms or areas, just to make sure people know what the room is for and get a sense of how big it is. Like if there’s a room that’s both living and dining, put a couch and table so people know it easily fits both. Or a weird nook somewhere? Add a chair or desk to give ideas of what it could be used for. You don’t need a whole house full of furniture and decor but a few items (rented, borrowed from friends and family, or even cheap stuff from goodwill) can help buyers picture themselves living there. If you have guest room furniture or a formal living room plus family room, maybe live a little sparcely and leave some things at the house you’re trying to sell. 

Agree with PP too, dated/ugly walls and floors stand out so much more when there’s no furniture. Maybe paint a few key rooms, take down any curtains, and scrub every surface. If there’s hardwood under the carpet, pull up a corner so people can see it. If there isn’t much to look at you want to make sure what is visible is really nice. 

Post # 14
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I actually think staging a house does help it sell faster and perhaps for more money.  I know a lot of people can look at a house empty and have no problem (myself included, we just bought a house this yr that was shown empty) but many others can’t do that (the house was on the market for 5 months before we bought it).  Having furniture in the space helps buyers imagine it as a functioning space, and gives them a better idea of what size furniture will fit.  It seems counter-intuitive but rooms actually appear smaller when you see them empty. 

We staged our townhouse (not professionally, but the realtor had a stager she worked with who gave us tips on where to position furniture, they added some knick knacks, fresh flowers, etc) before we sold it and we got 3 offers the first day it was on the market, all for list price or over.  Of course, there is no way to know if the staging really made a difference as you could argue we may have gotten those offers without the staging, but it certainly didn’t hurt.  In our case, it didn’t cost much so it was a no brainer.  However, since you will be completely moved out by then, I can see how renting a bunch of furniture to stage it would cost a lot more.  In that case, I would recommend similar to others, make sure the house is well-maintained so attention is not drawn to needed repairs without all the furniture in the space to distract.  Then add some key pieces if needed to show the house’s potential.  There are also some tricks you can use to save money but still show the functionality of the space.  We had a 3 bedroom townhouse and used one bedroom as an office.  Our realtor said showing it as a bedroom would appeal to more buyers, especially since many buying townhouses in the area would want to have it as a bedroom and our office furniture made the room appear too small to function as a bedroom.  So we got a blow up mattress and made it up with sheets, pillows, etc and added a nightstand.  The room looked a lot bigger that way and families with kids could envision their kids using that room.  We had also done a few cosmetic upgrades before we sold (replaed the builder-grade mirrors with nice framed ones from home goods, updated the faucets).  It makes the whole house seem newer (ours was 20 years old when we sold) and people are more inclined to want to move in!

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