Staging your home for renting

‘Staging’ is the art of preparing your house for viewing by potential renters (or buyers).  It has been used in the real estate industry for years, particularly at the upper end.  But more and more property owners are discovering it works equally as well when trying to lease up a property.  It can make a significant difference in the time it takes to lease up a property.

The essence of staging is to furnish the home with a ‘minimalist’ look.  Less is more in staging (to a point).  The goal of staging is to present the space or spaces as larger than maybe they are

Staging is not always an available option.  The unit may be vacant, in which case the additional cost of bringing in staging is tough to justify.  Or the current tenant may be so messy that showing the unit just isn’t viable.  But we often run into situations where an owner is getting ready to lease up his property.  In these situations staging becomes a very viable, and worthwhile, option.  So how do you stage a property?

1) Clean up the landscape.  You only get one chance at a first impression.  So spend a few hours, or hire someone to spend a few hours, mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs, cleaning up the planter beds, and doing some weeding and edging.  A little pressure washing can do wonders as well.

2) Pick up the clutter.  This is one of the biggees for staging a home.  Clutter makes a space look small.  You are going to have to pack it up anyhow.  So why not pack it up sooner than later and help you home rent?  Things you use daily can be put into drawers and cupboards.  Items you haven’t touched for a month or more should be packed into boxes.  And don’t forget all of those magnets and pictures onthe fridge!

3) Remove personal photos.  Pack away any photos of family and friends.  This will help the prospect to mentally put up their own photos.  If you hallway or wall has 35 pictures on it then take them all down except for one or two.  Again, reduce clutter.

4) Reduce furniture.  Leave the couch, coffee table, end table with lamp, and a couple of things on the mantle.  Get rid of the extra bookcase, chairs, etc.  Again, think ‘minimalist’.

Store all of this stuff in the garage (if you have one).  Everyone knows garages aren’t for parking cars anymore!  If not, you can rent a pod or a storage spot or keep it at friends or family for a short bit.

5) Repair walls.  Now that you have emptied the home, dings, scratches and dents in the wall will start to show.  You need to fix these.  Fill the holes and dings with Spackle.  Texture as necessary.  (Hardware stores sell texture in aerosol cans.)  When you paint, don’t “leopard” paint where you paint just the spots that are damaged!  The sheen will show all of your patches.  You have to paint eh whole wall to the corner, doorway, or some other convenient stop line.

Do these 5 items and you’ll be all ready to show off your home.  It will look so much larger and usually shows much nicer as well!  Best of luck!!

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