Staging a home is so important, but not always possible.
In homes with unfortunate furnishings that can't be replaced or rearranged, one option is to have an interior designer or decorator do a "decorator board" which is a presentation board featuring renderings of the space with the ideal decor and arrangement -- hopefully designed to appeal to the lifestyle and sensibilities of your carefully targeted buyers. This would also be an option for an empty home when the marketing budget does not allow for staging.
There is another option...
Over at the Zillow blog, Sarah Greenleaf has an interesting post about virtual staging. As she notes,
"You no longer need a warehouse full of art or access to a furniture rental store to stage your home....Instead, just send in photos of your empty room and see them come back digitally staged."
High quality digital rendering of interiors are now commonly used by developers, but are less commonly employed by agents. Have you done this with any of your listings?