How Should You List Your Home: Empty or Furnished?

It’s a question with opinions as divided as crunchy or creamy peanut butter, and one debated more furiously than which came first, the chicken or the egg—should you list your home fully furnished or completely bare?

It seems that there’s a bit of contention in searching for a definitive answer on the matter. Just like every other either-or debate, the answer lies somewhere in between. Some Realtors prefer empty, others prefer a lightly furnished home. But which is right for you?

Why Buyers Look For ‘Homes’ and Not ‘Houses’

The simple fact of the matter is that your potential buyers are looking to move into a home and not just a house. As most homes are furnished by their owners, so too should your newly listed home. Furnished homes allow potential buyers to experience the home as they might someday have it, as well as offering a true-to-life glimpse of space considerations. For instance, the bedroom with a queen bed in it gives a lot more spatial detail than an empty bedroom. It also ensures potential buyers will get a good feel for the home’s flow, rather than just its floor plan.

What to Do if You Have to List Unfurnished

Sometimes we’re not always given the ability to list our home furnished. Maybe you’re moving out of state, or there are special time considerations that need to be addressed. Whatever the reason, sometimes the ideal is not possible. In this case, it’s important to remember that your home is essentially naked and all of its blemishes are on display for the world to see.

It almost goes without saying that your home needs to be in a state of immaculate cleanliness, with every nook and cranny spotless and polished to absolute perfection. While furniture may be gone, be sure to include the minimum essentials necessary for functionality. Meaning if you’ve taken light fixtures at least leave a small lamp to light the room.

What Furniture to Leave

With all this being said, it’s important to keep in mind that not everything should be put on display when selling your home. Any extremely personal items, like family photos, should be put away. While it may be disheartening to shelve childhood photos, you have to consider that your buyers want to fill the house with their memories, not yours.

Instead, decorate with the same kind of generic embellishments you might find in the living section of a department store. Make sure all of your furniture is clean and spot free as well! It’ll pay in the end to get your couches, rugs and carpets looking sparkling and new before showing it off to potential buyers.

Nice newsletter. Good article. Good information. Thank you. Carol

For conventional financing, borrowers with scores at 740 or anywhere above generally receive the same loan pricing (rate and cost). That being said, the better your credit the higher your chances of receiving loan approval with high debt to income (up to 50%) or high loan to value (up to 95%) which can be a major benefit when applying for a new loan. For Jumbo financing, borrowers with credit scores above 800 are generally rewarded with both better pricing and easier guidelines. There are no situations where better credit is a negative when obtaining new financing so we should all continue to strive to reach and then stay in the 800’s.

What are the advantages of a score over 800

Thank you Mike for this information. As a residential realtor the information that you provide is crucial to a successful transaction for my clients. You are indeed a pleasure to recommend to all of my clients. You are so professional, thorough, conscientious and pleasant to work with. !!

Hi Dane! Wanted to make sure I'm clear on this. Am I right in saying that on whichever remodel is done you still take a loss rather than an increase in value - the ROI will never exceed 100% of cost?