Ask A Realtor: Is It Better To Sell A House Vacant or Occupied?

A reader wrote:

We are in the beginning stages of planning a move out of state. While we know we will need to do some things to prepare our home for market, we don’t have much to spend. My husband is of the mindset of move everything out before placing it on the market (our furniture is not splendid, in fact quite ugly) and he doesn’t think this house would show well furnished. I would rather show the house and try to sell before we move out. Any suggestions as to if one way sells a home better than another?

Thanks for the question.  Here’s the short answer: the *best* way to sell a home is one that is well decorated, decluttered, and staged for selling – our portfolio page has numerous examples of homes like this that we’ve sold recently.

The second best way to sell a home is vacant – such as the home we just listed last Thursday in Stetson Hills.  We had 4 showings and 2 offers within 24 hours.  Obviously the lack of furniture didn’t hurt us!

Regardless of which route you go, it would be good to set aside a little bit of money to get your home ready. Obviously, I can’t comment on specifics without seeing your home, but most homes are going to have a few rooms that need fresh paint, a good professional carpet cleaning, a storage unit to help declutter, and some misc minor repairs (the broken screen door, dripping faucet, re-caulking the tub, etc.)  In almost every case, spending money on these relatively minor items will bring a much better return on your sale price (for example, spending $1,000 on paint, carpet cleaning, a storage unit, etc. might increase your sale price by $4,000.)

If  you have a similar question and would like me to come by your home sometime to discuss your situation in more detail, please let me know.

– Jeremy

Jeremy Isaac is a local Realtor, but you probably know him better as Carrie’s husband.  Do you have a real estate question you’d like answered? Email Jeremy directly at or call/text 719-231-9043

You can search homes for sale in Colorado Springs, Monument, and Black Forest on The Circa Group’s website, with no registration required to view homes, prices, addresses, or any other information. If you’re looking to sell your home, be sure to view our marketing portfolio and see how our marketing portfolio will help your home sell for top dollar.



  1. The portfolio page is a great tool. We will also be doing a cross country move this summer and I have already started to declutter, I don’t want to be in a mad panic trying to get everything done at once when we put the house on the market.

  2. I’ve been watching Sell This House! on Bio (biography) channel for inspiration. I don’t think I’ve seen the show go over $600 with some staging as low as $120 and that’s usually for 3-4 rooms. also has video clips of the show online.

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