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Advice for Selling a Vacant Home

What is more appealing for selling a home – an occupied house or a vacant property? The answer depends. Selling a vacant home offers advantages and disadvantages, but with the right strategy and representation, you can find the right buyer and receive maximum value.

Why selling vacant homes is challenging

A study performed by the Appraisal Institute found vacant houses sold for six percent less than occupied houses and had more days on the market, but why is this the case?

First is our natural reliance on appearance. Without furniture to provide scale and inspiration, many buyers struggle to see the property as a home. Even if the potential buyer dislikes the current owners’ interior decorating taste, that furniture still gives a room a sense of scale and flow. In a staged space, buyers can see if their existing pieces will fit and imagine how they would add their personal touch.

Remember, the vast majority of home buyers start their search online. The interior style differentiates houses from each other. As buyers look at properties in a master-planned neighborhood, all of the houses begin to look alike. In photos, vacant homes look even more alike because they lack furniture to make them distinct. 

Another challenge that vacant homes can sometimes present is the impression that the seller had a sense of urgency that caused them to move out quickly. The buyers start to think the property may be in distress, or perhaps the owners want a quick sale since they’re paying two mortgages. They begin to believe they can leverage the urgency, accurate or not, to get a deal. 

How to overcome vacant home challenges

1. Home Staging

Staging your home is an important step in the process. Options include renting furniture or hiring a professional home stager to add key pieces in important rooms like the living room or the master bedroom. The stagers pick neutral pieces as a way of demonstrating a room’s potential to interested buyers. How far to go with professional home staging depends on your budget, the property, and the sale objectives but it is worth it to speak with your real estate agent about the idea. 

2. Virtual staging

Virtual staging digitally adds furniture into photography to give a picture the sense of scale and design potential. Today’s virtual staging options are incredibly realistic; without a disclaimer, the potential buyers may not realize that the master suite’s bed isn’t actually in the room. The options for design are vast, allowing for different styles and tastes to be incorporated while www. Virtual staging is a less expensive alternative to physically staging the property and still helps attract buyer interest from online searches.


Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty has a unique tool to help sell vacant homes. Built as a visualization tool for home buyers and real estate agents, CURATE is a mixed reality app that previews the possibilities. The app’s virtual staging capabilities show various interior design styles based on the buyer’s taste to help them see what the room looks like when fully furnished. Through its augmented reality function, homeowners can design and purchase the furnishing for their new home.


Selling vacant homes for top dollar

Your best bet to sell a vacant home for maximum value is to use a real estate agent experienced in positioning these homes. Our agents customize a strategy based on your needs to attract as many buyers as possible. We leverage the latest tools to reimagine vacant spaces, erasing any disadvantages and generating high buyer interest.

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