Not everyone has the time, money, or resources to quickly get an unfinished basement finished quickly before planning to list your house for sale.

So what do you do with your unfinished basement?

Do you just leave it the way it looks now?

Do you simply clean out the junk and boxes and put a coffee table with some reading books at the bottom of the stairs, and let buyers use their imagination?

Or do you stage the unfinished basement?

First, I’d like to start off by highlighting all of the different classifications for a basement on the MLS that Buyers look at before coming to see a house. 

  • Part-finished
  • Full
  • Half
  • None
  • Other
  • Semi-finished
  • Finished
  • Apartment
  • Sep entrance

Okay, some of these are obvious. 

But what the heck is “full” or “other” anyways?

Full Basement

It’s obviously an unfinished basement or it would say “Finished”. 

A “full” basement is a nice way of saying, “We have a full, unfinished basement.”

Now for what I’d like your opinion on. 

Recently, while I’ve been showing my Buyer clients different homes, I’ve noticed many homes are featuring unfinished basements that are staged. 

I’m curious to know what you think about this?

On the one hand, it makes sense to put your best foot forward. 

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. 

On the other hand, Buyers often get offended by obvious attempts to fool or deceive them.

And let’s face it, some unfinished basements that have been staged actually look unrealistic which will ultimately backfire.

Like this one: An unfinished basement with no ceiling, exposed ducts, pipes, and wires, but clean painted brick walls.

Staging Unfinished Basement 2

Gotta love the electrical panel.

Here’s another example but they put wall-to-wall broadloom instead of an area rug.

Staging Unfinished Basement 3

How about in this one where they did drywall SOME parts, so all it’s really missing is a ceiling?

Staging Unfinished Basement 4

Here’s one where they’ve installed laminate flooring, drywalled two-thirds of the space, but haven’t put in a ceiling.

Staging Unfinished Basement 5

I don’t know where to start with this one. 

Staging Unfinished Basement 6

An electrical panel, some ductwork, and wires, and some artwork that is totally out of place in my opinion. 

I still haven’t figured out the door with a window in it. 

How about this one with many area rugs, a cozy chair, a nice coffee table with an orchid, and a cozy couch to watch … the furnace?

Staging Unfinished Basement 7

Staging Unfinished Basement 8

So, if you were a Buyer, and went downstairs to see any of those basements, would you laugh at the sellers’ attempt to pass off their unfinished basement as a rec room?

Or would you find it helpful and place a higher value on the home?

If you want to know more about staging be sure to check out my other posts called:

Top 10 Staging Tips You Can Do Yourself,
Do You Need Staging If Your Home Is Nicely Decorated?,
Tips For Staging [Closets] When Selling Your Home,
What’s The Point Of [Staging] Your Home When Listing It For Sale?

They’re on my Youtube channel at and here on my blog at

On either site just type the word “staging” in the SEARCH field and they’ll all come up for you. 

And if you want to know more about the process of buying or selling a home, or more about how to do it safely & smoothly, I’m always happy to chat.