Empty does not show spaciousness; carefully placed furniture that shows a room in use without being cramped shows spaciousness. The majority of buyers need furniture pieces to help them visualize the room in use. When looking at a bed and dresser are placed in a room, a buyer can compare their bed size and dresser size to the one shown. This helps the buyer. Proceed to a family room, and a buyer will compare their sofa size to yours, etc. When the room is simply vacant, the visualization process is more challenging for the vast majority of buyers.
If empty were best, models of new construction homes would not be shown furnished. And, these new construction models, as well as hotel rooms are good examples of the best way to show a property. The Show a property ifor sale with newer furnishings, tastefully decorated, and minimal exposure of personal items such a pictures, awards, collectibles, etc.
If you can use your existing furnishings to create this atmosphere, that will be your best option. If you have furnishings that are older, you can consider a few slipcovers, as those have come a long way in the recent years. A few throw pillows can be inexpensive. Take a minimalist approach. Place only a very few items on any tables.
Most important is that the home is clean, and free of clutter.
I hope you have found the answers on Trulia helpful. I am not sure why Keith exhibited such a hostile tone in his reply. I hope this did not offend you.
It depends on several factors. General rules of thumb. Having a home empty can signal seller motivation. Less is always better. Old and dated is a buyer turnoff signaling too much work needing to be done. Pluses and minuses to everything. A realtor will help you weigh the pros and cons and select the best strategy for the desired outcome.
Enjoy the day!!
If you do any kind of staging, it's imperative that the house is really clean. A coat of fresh paint also does wonders. You can get ideas at http://www.stagedhomes.com I would also suggest you speak to your real estate agent. Many have experience with this and can give you helpful hints. Good luck.
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Get everything else outta there because it falls into the category of clutter. No Pictures, no bookshelves, no cookie jars, no excess plants (one or two in the right place is nice sometimes, but just don't overdo it), you get the point... If it's not on the above list, get it outta there.
And repaint the place neutral colors if you can.
As a seller or agent, you will have some idea about the highlights of the house of which you want to show to potential buyers; your furniture (staging) should emphasize that; make the flow of the furniture showcase that strength.
Make sure there are little accessories to go with it. One of my clients had some gorgeous black leather couches, but it made the house seem very severe. We added some burgundy and gold brown pillows which happen to match the painting she had on the wall, those little additions made a big change in how the room feels.
This is part of staging and can be very affordable, fun and effective.
Your REALTOR should have an eye for that or they might have recommendation for stagers who can consult with you for a nominal fee on what to do.