Why Empty Homes Don’t Sell

By Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space

Every morning on my Chicago area social media feed, I see acres and acres of empty rooms posted by real estate professionals. So many empty dining rooms, breakfast rooms, kitchens, living and bedrooms. Do I stop and click on the photo, intrigued to have a look at the room, the house, the property? No, I just scroll on by … Do I read the eloquently written description? Do I appreciate the professional photography? No, I just scroll on by … Why? It’s that they all look the same; devoid of any senses, any flavor, any style.


#1. An empty home leaves an empty canvas to paint negative thoughts on. Prospective buyers will find imperfections or they’ll not be interested or overlook features. An empty home amplifies negative thoughts.

#2. Empty homes lack a vision of its layout. What is this room? A staged home shows off how the home flows and how each space can be used.

#3. An empty home is void of imagination and feeling. People buy homes on emotion. An empty property is just a HOUSE, a staged property becomes a HOME. Home staging creates the emotion that your prospective buyers envisioned.

#4. The National Association of REALTORS 2015 Profile on Home Staging found that 81 percent of buyers find it is easier to visualize a property as a future home when it’s staged.

“A staged home may seem like it has furniture that’s fixed in place; but what is going on in the buyer’s mind is a very kinetic process. With a home that is staged, they see a family – celebrating home.” –Julea Joseph

See the difference for yourself: Here are some before and after photos.



Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space, julea.com



Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space, julea.com



Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space, julea.com

This post originally appeared at Julea: Reinventing Space. Copyright 2015.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julea Joseph is the owner and lead designer at Reinventing Space in Chicago. Visit her website and blog at Julea.com.


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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. I LOVED being a Home Manager for Showhomes Atlanta, and I did just what this blog post suggests. I lived in, staged, and filled the home with my energy … and that is what I am doing now as well. I love my current position even more because I am less limited in what I can do to improve the home. Making a house or a property a home is an art. It involves not only color, presentation, but also know-how with regard to home repair, fix-up, and landscape improvements and maintenance. I love the work.

  2. And the agents that put up an orchid in a bathroom, or rug in the center of the room, should have their licenses revoked. They are “misleading” clients on staging. I believe that properties in today’s market are like a room full of women, ..and the best looking ones always get the most attention. End of story. I’ve seen 7,000 square foot mansions that weren’t selling, …and after they were staged sold in 2 weeks. It does make a difference, and that particular seller now gets it.

  3. Homes that are Sell not only sell quicker but usually end up selling more than list price. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Way to go Julea! Love your staging and that you also use CORT Furniture Rental! I use them too. Thank you to NAR for leading the charge in getting word out about the importance of home staging and home stagers like me and like Julea.

  5. It’s especially important when a home has a confusing floor plan, rooms that are too small (furniture defines them), rooms that are too large (furniture opens up the possibilities). Staging a home with an incurable defect such as a small back yard, causes a home buyer to get emotionally involved, which is often critical.

  6. Emotion sells. Well-staged homes tell a story where potential buyers can envision themselves. It just makes sense that a warm inviting house becomes “home”.