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How to successfully market an empty house for sale

How to Successfully Marketing an Empty House for Sale

Ways to Stage a Home for Sale Without Furniture

There are many challenges to successfully marketing an empty house for sale. Potential buyers may have a difficult time envisioning how various areas of the home can be utilized. Empty homes also don’t show well in marketing photos that buyers see online while searching homes for sale. These are a few reasons why homes that are fully furnished or staged often sell faster than those which aren’t.

Not all home sellers are in a position to leave their house fully furnished or to afford professional staging. Although this is not an ideal situation, there are solutions for overcoming this challenge. Here are our top tips for successfully marketing an empty house for sale.

Fully staging a home for sale has a huge impact for how it is perceived by buyers

The impact of staging a home is huge when it comes to creating an emotional connection with the buyer.

Top Five Tips for Successfully Marketing an Empty House for Sale

The best way to get an empty home ready for the market is to understand the specific challenges you face. The goal is to preemptively address these challenges to minimize their effect on potential buyers. There are several ways to accomplish this without spending thousands on staging. Let’s take a look at ways to make an empty house ready for market.

1. Make it Spotless!

Furniture and accessories can cover up a lot in terms of area. When these items are removed, there may be areas exposed that require special attention. If you are selling your house while it is unfurnished, it is imperative that the interior is spotless. Be sure to address stains, spots, and discoloration that would normally be hidden by furniture and accessories. You don’t want buyers to focus on these things when viewing the home in person or online.

2. Make Your Statement with Accessories and Decor

When fully staging your home with furniture is not an option, using accessories and decor is the next best thing. This is known as “soft staging”. Spending a few hundred dollars on accessories can make a statement to potential buyers. Soft staging usually focuses on decorating the kitchen and bathroom, but other spaces can be soft staged as well.

In the kitchen, decor such as hand towels, place settings, succulents, flowers, or a fruit display will add warmth and personality to the space. The bathroom(s) can be spruced up by adding towels, floor mats, soaps, and candles. Other rooms in the home can be soft staged with curtains, lamps, plants, rugs, and accent tables. Incorporating this minimal level of design will make the space seem less stark.

3. Paint and Make Minor Repairs

Impress buyers with a coat of fresh paint and a very short list of needed fixes. One of the challenges of selling an empty home is getting a buyer to connect emotionally with the home. Instead, capture that feeling of newness with some fresh paint and by removing any minor repairs. This will create a major impact while spending a few hundred dollars.


Painting gives you the opportunity to update the look of your home. Consider using a trending color palette, but shy away from colors that are extremely bold or pale. You might be able to get away with these color palettes in a fully staged home, but they don’t show as well when the home is empty.

Another benefit of painting interior walls is to give potential buyers a sense of newness and cleanliness. The smell of fresh paint is known to provide a certain sense of comfort to buyers. This is a great way to distract from the starkness of empty rooms.

Minor Fixes

We are not talking about doing major repairs at this point in the home selling process. Think more along the lines of tightening a few screws, lubricating squeaky door hinges, fixing leaky faucets, and patching any holes or dents in the walls (before painting of course). Once again, the goal is to create a sense of comfort for buyers that is often missing when viewing empty homes.

4. Stage the Exterior

It’s not uncommon for buyers to make up their minds about a home based on how the exterior looks. Taking advantage of that is one of the best ways to successfully market an empty house for sale. Be sure to get that lawn and exterior landscaping looking its very best. This can be accomplished by spending just a few short hours doing yard work. If you are not a ‘hands-on’ type of homeowner, you can always hire someone to handle this for a minimal cost. Adding colorful flowers to your home’s curb appeal is another great way to capture a buyer’s attention. All of this will have buyers feeling like your house is a place they could call “home”.

5. Show off the Outside from the Inside

One of your home’s best features is the windows. Buyers love natural lighting. When trying to sell an empty house, don’t miss the opportunity to show off the windows. Bring the outside in by making sure your windows are clean and crystal clear. You will be surprised by how much of an impact this will have on buyers.

If you are soft staging with curtains, be sure to always have them open. You don’t want to block the buyer’s view of those wonderful windows. Leave your curtains pulled to the sides so that they act as a frame to your crystal clear windows. Another easy way to play up the natural lighting in your home is to trim away any trees or bushes that may be blocking the sunlight from coming through.

6. Virtual Staging

Most buyers will see your home online before seeing it in person. This is an opportunity to add photos and design elements to the photos. Virtual staging can be done with the help of various applications or web-based service providers. Photo renderings are another way to show off how your home would look if it were fully furnished. These are fantastic ways to give buyers an idea of how space in the home can be used.

The renderings or photos should also be left inside the home so they can be seen during in-person showings. It is a great way to help buyers make that important emotional connection to the home.

Successfully Marketing an Empty Home for Sale

This room has been virtually staged to show buyers how the space can be designed and used.

Final Thoughts

It is true that (on average) staged or fully furnished and decorated homes sell faster and for more money. Keep in mind that is how the stats shake out overall. That doesn’t mean every empty home will sell for less or take a long time to sell. There are so many other factors that will help determine that. At the end of the day, there are more important things for buyers to focus on besides how well the home is decorated. However, homeowners that help them make that emotional connection to the home will be well served. Executing on these tips will cost very little money, but it could literally net you thousands.

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