When buyers visit homes they often feel as though they can't imagine what changes could be made to make the home fit their needs. The key word is 'imagine'. If you're so focused on what is right in front of you you'll miss the home's potential.
When the seller's personal items clutter the home it's hard to see an a room with your furniture. Some people seem to do this easily and others, not so much. Here is one trick to try. Don't just view the room at eye level. Look up at the ceiling and follow the walls around the room to get perspective of length, width and height. Take note of key room features like windows, doors, fireplaces, etc. Take your time. Once you've soaked this in then you can think about what would fit on any given wall. For example is there a wall free of a window or door? If so this wall may be suitable for a wall-mounted tv, or tall piece of furniture or even a large piece of art. Repeat in rooms important to you. If the house seems choppy, stand at the intersection of the two rooms and do the same process. How much bigger will that space be visually? For example, if there is a wall between the kitchen and dining room, look at both rooms together by standing at the entry of the shared space. If the two rooms were one space would you have more flexibility in furniture placement? Looking at a room above eye level will allow you to look past the seller's personal items and see what a room could offer.
But what if the house is empty? Start with looking at the ceiling and walls to get perspective of space. Then work downward with your eyes. If you only look at a room at eye-level you'll only see the holes in the wall and the poor paint job. In other words, you'll only be focused on what is right in front of you when there is so much more to see. If a space is too open for your comfort walk to a spot where you think a wall should go. Turn around and look to see if the remaining space will be sufficient for your needs. If building that wall seems to be too much of an undertaking, research other ways to create a visual break. Keep these ideas in mind as you view homes.
Lastly, remember that any room can be used anyway you wish. Just because the home has a formal dining room doesn't mean you have to use it that way. Now, let your imagination run wild.