Bonus rooms are in high demand with buyers. Modern living requires a lot of flexibility and buyers want to see that flexibility reflected in their homes. They want spaces that can do double duty as well as spaces for things like working, homeschooling, a home gym, or an entertainment room. Having a bonus space is a big selling point for a home – but should you stage a bonus space or leave it empty to show the possibilities of the space?
There’s a lot of division on this issue. Some professional stagers think that repainting a bonus room and leaving it empty is the best way to show it because it leaves the buyer free to imagine that space for whatever they want. And that definitely is something to consider. Some buyers prefer to see the full size and scope of the room so they can imagine their own belongings in there or imagine using it for their own unique purposes.
But other professionals say that you should always stage a bonus room to make it look like it has a purpose. Leaving the room empty can be confusing for buyers who aren’t visual and have a hard time imagining the space with furniture or equipment in it. Sometimes the best thing to do is stage either as a guest area, a hang out space, or a home office and then gently suggest to buyers that they can use it for whatever they like.
If you’re going to stage a bonus space in order to make it some more cohesive with the rest of those keep the staging simple. Some neutral art on the walls and reasonably scaled furniture will give the room the look that it gets used without making it look overcrowded. Stage it for one purpose, not as a multi-use space. Dual duty spaces can be very confusing for buyers who are touring the home.
If you can find out what the buyers might want to use that space for you can stage the room for that purpose and really show the potential of the space. For example, if you know that one of the people coming to see the house is someone that works from home staging the room with a nice desk, some shelving, good lighting, a cozy chair, and other elements that show the room’s potential to be a beautiful home office can be what gets that person to make an offer on the house.
But if you don’t have any information about the buyer ahead of time and you have no idea what they’d likely use the space for a safe bet is to stage it as an extra hang out space with a TV and entertainment center, a comfy couch, and a few cozy chairs.