Home Staging Advice

Vacant vs. Occupied: Which is Easier to Sell?

3220OakBrookLivingC.jpg

Vacant homes and occupied homes are two totally different animals. Selling each requires a great deal of expertise and know-how, and most importantly, preparation!

Is it easier to sell a vacant home or an occupied home? The experts at Creative Home Stagers look at the pros and cons of each.

Vacant Homes
You might be surprised to know that less than about 2% of all owned homes are currently vacant. Why would a vacant home go on the market? Maybe it was once used as a rental property and the tenants moved out. Maybe the last owners have already moved into their new property. Maybe a sudden relocation happened. Whatever the reason, selling a vacant home is can be more difficult than selling an occupied dwelling.

Vacant homes can feel cold, sterile, and cavernous. Unless an empty house is brand new construction, vacant rooms can have a sense of desertion that’s hard for buyers to shake. Even for new construction homes, completely empty rooms are a very tough sell. Buyers often find empty rooms smaller than they actually are, and are more likely to notice flaws like carpet stains and uneven drywall.

Tips for selling a vacant home:

  1. Stage! Hire a professional stager to give rooms a purpose and a livable feel

  2. Maintain the home as if it’s lived in: mow the yard, dust the fans, fill the toilet paper holders…

  3. Add human touches like rugs and wall art to break up the sterility

Occupied Homes
There are around 75,000,000 owner-occupied homes in the United States alone. Buyers are most likely to look at multiple houses currently resided in by sellers; many sellers can’t or won’t move out of their homes until it sells. As the norm, occupied houses (or those that appear to be occupied) are easier to sell than empty ones.

What are some challenges to selling an occupied home? Depersonalizing a house that’s currently a home can be tough. Sellers are often emotionally invested in their décor, furniture, and belongings to a point that makes it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves in the space. Qualified professionals help sell occupied homes faster and for more money.

Tips for selling an occupied home:

  1. Work with an experienced realtor to prep and market your home for sale

  2. Bring in a professional stager to depersonalize the house and give it wider appeal

  3. Consider storing furniture and clutter that can distract buyers


One thing is for sure: Whether your home is vacant or occupied, professional help is a must! Hiring a qualified Realtor and staging professional is the best way to get more return on your investment. Need help staging your vacant home or an occupied house? Reach out to Creative Home Stagers here.

Posted in: Occupied Home Staging

0 Comments on Vacant vs. Occupied: Which is Easier to Sell?