Tips for Selling an Empty House

Selling an empty house

Tips for Selling an Empty House

When most homeowners are preparing to sell, they’re faced with the problem of minimizing household clutter.

They’re told that “emptier” rooms look bigger and cleaner, and fewer personal items allow buyers to visualize their own things in your space. Yet, some sellers find themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum — they have an empty house to sell, and this can present its own set of challenges.

While an empty house is certainly easier to clean, it can reveal many little flaws you may have never noticed.

Scuffs, nail holes and cracks stand out, meaning some small repairs and a fresh coat of paint are often necessary. However, painting rooms can benefit your sale in two ways — you have the opportunity to neutralize the colours if your chosen hues were on the bold side, and the smell of fresh paint subtly conveys a sense of newness.

Similarly, floors may need a little TLC if removing your furniture reveals worn-off wood finishes, dingy carpets, or blackened grout in high-traffic areas. Few things make your home look more tired than the worn-in traces of other people’s footsteps, so whether you choose to put in a little elbow grease or hire professionals to bring your floors back up to snuff, you’re likely to be rewarded with buyers whose focus isn’t at their feet.

Focus and perception are two of the most important things to consider when selling an empty house.

If a room lacks a focal point, buyers eyes tend to wander and are more likely to settle on tiny flaws. In addition, it can be difficult for buyers to get a clear sense of how big the rooms are if there’s no furniture to provide perspective. Empty dining rooms or bedrooms may actually appear smaller than they are, making buyers nervous about whether their furniture will fit.

Luckily, both problems are easily solved by leaving behind or adding a few tasteful items that can anchor the eye and show the relative spaciousness that your home offers. A neatly-made bed in the master bedroom can work well, or a painting hung near an accent chair in the living room. If you haven’t got the furniture to spare, it could be worth a trip to a local second-hand store to pick up a few inexpensive pieces. Barring these options, even a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen counter or a mirror resting on the mantle can work wonders.

Remember that your potential buyers are looking for a home — a comfortable place where their stories are free to unfold. So, in addition to these effective steps, be sure to resist the temptation to temporarily leave storage spaces (including garages and sheds) filled with your seldom-used belongings. Your home will be infinitely more appealing to hopeful homebuyers if they feel comfortable and envision themselves in your space.


Originally published in the Canstar Community Newspapers on February 6, 2017. Republished with permission. Content written by ComFree Commonsense Network.


  1. Hi there!

    To target buyers, the best course of action is to advertise your home in the most popular places buyers look – namely, and (they’re two of Canada’s top real estate websites). Another option is to share your listing on social media, and get friends to share it, too.

    In order to qualify serious buyers, there are a few questions you can ask. First, ask if they’re buying privately or if they have an agent – if they’ve made a decision about how they are going to buy, they should have a ready answer to this question. You could also ask if they are looking/have looked at other properties in the neighbourhood, and whether they’re hoping for a fast sale (increasing the sense of urgency is generally a good strategy when you sell). You might also find out whether the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage, as this would indicate that they’re ready to buy.

    Of course, it’s best to use your own discretion when interacting with potential buyers – just remember that you’re essentially selling a product, and being judicious about your time and efforts is wise.

    Best of luck to your friend!

  2. PD Subraa says:

    Great post!!

    Just a small query [ on behalf of my friend]

    Where do I target the buyers and how do I determine if he/she is a authentic buyer?

    Have to admit, the house is being sold with no heart to sell. He had loved his houses as much as his kid

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