I've been to several open houses lately that appear to be vacant. They have a few pieces of furniture in them, but it appears temporary. Why would anyone do this?
Good question! Home stagers are often asked to stage a vacant home for a very modest fee. As a stager, I have been in this situation many times. The reason to sparsely furnish a house is to give potential buyers a sense of what the rooms are used for and how large (or small) the rooms are. For example, many homebuyers will look at an empty property and think that the master bedroom is too small to accomodate their king size bed. If a bedroom is furnished with a king-size bed (even if it is an inflatable mattress), it will illustrate that the room is large enough for them.
As well, vacant homes often look cold and bare. By putting in a few furnishings, lamps and accessories, the home looks warmer and more inviting, thus facilitating a faster sale!