While some agents believe vacant homes appeal to buyers because they look bigger and enable house-hunters to better visualize their own belongings in the space, others say that adding strategically placed items can make rooms that are a little dated look more appealing.
Agents often do not leave even unoccupied homes empty, either rearranging some of the seller’s belongings or hiring a professional stager to bring in furnishings that showcase the property’s best features. A consultation with a stager can cost a few hundred dollars, and full-out staging can require an investment of a few thousand dollars per month.
Some stagers offer more affordable plans in which living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens are staged, while bedrooms are left empty. Staged properties often sell more quickly, and pictures of staged homes are more appealing than empty rooms to buyers conducting online searches.
Some agents include staging consultations in their basic commission and require sellers to cover staging costs, while others will increase their commission rates based on how much they spend on staging.