I believe staging is a hit or miss thing, depending upon the particular buyer. Some creative buyers prefer to preview homes that are vacant so that they can mentally picture and arrange their furniture in the open space; however, other buyers are visual, needing help creating an image to see what a home would look like with furnishings. Most importantly, the home should be in good condition, clean and have no bad odors or smells. If it is still occupied, each room should be de-cluttered and most personal items like pictures and knick-knacks packed away.
I'd like to hear who agents use (if hiring someone), what type of furnishings and decor are used & how (or the techniques) other agents or professional stagers stage a vacant home as well as the success rate they typically realize once the home has been staged.