Pros And Cons Of Selling An Empty House

Property styling, real estate staging, house staging, home shows  – home staging goes by many terms. But the idea is still the same: making your house appealing to prospective buyers for the best possible sale price. 

The real estate community is somewhat divided on whether a home seller should stage their home. 42% of real estate agents prefer selling a vacant home instead of a staged home according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)

But do houses sell better empty? What if you need the money to buy your next home and have no option but to stay? 

There are pros and cons of selling an empty house, depending on the home’s condition, size, and location. 


Speaking of figures, only 10% of potential buyers can imagine living in an empty home, while 90% get overwhelmed by the vast space and have a better emotional connection when they can see some of the seller’s furnishings around.     


According to seasoned realtors, your home’s location is the second consideration for buyers to purchase a new home after the sale price. In the end, it may not matter as much whether you are selling your home empty or occupied.  


Whether you have an occupied home or a vacant house for sale, both need to be in good condition. An occupied home needs to be presentable and neat for showings, and vacant homes may require costly home insurance and upkeep such as fresh paint or new carpet.

Pros Of Selling A Vacant Homes

Easier To Show

Is it better to sell an empty house? Realtors are more inclined to show a vacant house than an occupied house because all they have to do is get the keys to your home from the lockbox in front or exterior of the house, and are free to tour buyers around. It is less inconvenient for the realtor, and they don’t have to make an appointment with you.  

Easier To Inspect

A smart home buyer will request for a comprehensive home inspection to prevent costly mistakes and ensure that they are buying a quality property. An inspector will have an easier time assessing empty rooms instead of having people and clutter about.

Easier To Keep Clean

When you choose to sell your house vacant vs. occupied, you probably only need to do a deep cleaning once. You don’t need to run and grab the vacuum whenever you have a showing request. 

Easier To Fully See The Home

Do houses sell better with or without furniture? Offhand, buyers might better see themselves living in your home if it’s empty. Also, you can avoid unintentionally turning off buyers with your personal taste and the amount of furnishings and clutter if the house is vacant. 

Cons Of Selling A Vacant Homes

What if you don’t need the sale proceeds urgently, but you need to move out quickly due to a scheduled move, a new job, or even a divorce? 

Harder To Convince Buyers Of Home’s Potential

Is it better to sell the house empty or with furniture? Sometimes, buyers need help visualizing how they and their belongings will fit into the house for sale. Part of the appeal of a home staging is that professional staging services or realtors who are certified staging specialists can highlight the use of space & layout of homes and emphasize the features of each room. Statistics show that a staged home could bring in a 5 to 10% higher sales price. 

Harder To Monitor

Should I move out before selling the house? One of the biggest drawbacks of selling an empty home is putting your home at risk for vandalism, theft, and squatting. Thieves can freely get your wooden doors, air conditioner, kitchen appliances, plug points, fixtures, and expensive copper plumbing, piping & wires. 

You won’t be able to respond as quickly if there are emergencies like flooding or a destructive storm. Also, you will have to make the trip each time you need to maintain the landscaping or the yard. You might have to hire a caretaker in your place.  

Harder To Prove Lack Of Urgency For Buyer

One of the challenging parts of selling a vacant home is giving the impression of desperation and urgency. Buyers may take advantage and offer a lower sale price. You could miss making a profit.

So What’s Best?

Perhaps you have gathered from the above pros and cons that empty homes don’t sell remarkably faster than occupied ones. Recent studies have shown that the best areas to stage are the guest bedroom, children’s room, bathroom, dining room, master bedroom, kitchen, and living room.  

If either direction of selling a vacant or occupied home is not for you, reach out to a real estate investor or cash home buyer about the pros and cons of selling a house as-is.

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