How Unstaged Rooms Hamper a Home Sale

March 29, 2018

Sellers may be shooting themselves in the foot when they leave an empty, dark, or cluttered room unstaged, according to a recent realtor.com® article. Empty rooms, for example, can “kill a home sale, especially if the other rooms are furnished,” says Allison Bethell of FitSmallBusiness.com. Imperfections stand out more in an empty room, and the absence of furnishings could make it more difficult for buyers to visualize how to use the space.

A poorly lit room also can give the entire house a darker vibe, adds Desare Kohn-Laski, broker-owner of Skye Louis Realty in Coconut Creek, Fla. Instead, open curtains, consider painting the walls a light color, and add plants or a mirror to brighten the look.

The cluttered playroom is another top offender, real estate agents say. “If a playroom looks like a cluttered mess, buyers get the impression that the current residents aren’t clean,” says Kohn-Laski. Sellers should erase crayon and other marks on walls, as well as wipe fingerprints off doors and windows. Also, ensure the room isn’t stuffed with toys; a room that is too full can appear smaller.

The “creepy basement” may also be giving off the wrong type of vibe. Sarah Pickens with RE/MAX Advantage Plus in Blaine, Minn., recalls showing a home to buyers where the basement was an empty, all-cement room with no windows. “The buyer was so creeped out that we left the property,” Pickens says. “And he said he would never purchase the house because of that room.” Realtor.com® suggests “de-creeping” a basement by staging and brightening any windowless rooms.

Also, make sure a cluttered closet isn’t making buyers want to bolt. Teri Connors, an associate broker at Coldwell Banker M&D Good Life in Patchogue, N.Y., says overstuffed closets can make buyers think there’s not enough storage space in a home. She recommends removing at least two-thirds of the clothes in the closets to give the illusion that there’s plenty of space.

Source: “The One Room That’ll Make Buyers Bail, Even If They Love the House,” realtor.com® (March 28, 2018)