Stage Your House or Show It Empty?

It’s the “To be or not to be” of house selling: should you stage your home or empty it out to present a truly blank canvas to buyers? You know clutter kills sales but is a bare house just as much of a deterrent to buyers? Here’s what the experts say.

Stage it.

There is a reason why even spec houses have furnishings and accessories: buyers respond to it, and this “personal” touch facilitates sales. Staging a home correctly is important for the following reasons:

• It allows people to picture a house as “home.”Many house-hunters find walking through empty room after empty room cold and depressing. Just as a cluttered space prevents them from envisioning themselves in the house, a completely empty space makes it difficult to imagine making their own imprint.

• It keeps the focus where you want it – on potential. In the absence of décor and furnishings, people will often fixate on flaws in the house. Whether it bumps in the drywall, gaps in the hardwood flooring or oddly placed light switches or outlets, these features tend to stand out more prominently without the context of staging elements.

• It’s easier for potential buyers to see how pieces will fit. This is especially true if you have non-standard nooks and crannies. If you stage them strategically, you demonstrate how effectively space can be used. Buyers will also get a better sense of size; if there is no bed in a bedroom, for example, they may not have an accurate sense of scale.

• Staging answers questions. When people view an empty house, they wonder: did the owners divorce? Is this a foreclosure? Is there something wrong with the property and so they’ve moved out before selling? When they wonder, they don’t buy. Staging gives them a story.

Need more staging suggestions? You’re in the right place; explore our handy tips and advice.

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