Selling? When to Stage with Rental Furniture

As a design and home staging consultantcy, The Refreshed Home’s commodities are information, objective analysis, and expertise.

Whether you’re buying, selling, or staying and improving, our #1 goal is to help you make and implement your own best decisions about your space and your things. We work with you to help you discover a balance: what you’re willing to do to get what you want.

In that spirit, while TRH doesn’t stage with rental furniture anymore, we see its value in some situations. To help any sellers or agents at this crossroads, a little warm-up, then some of those whens, and whys.

Many use the terms home staging and rental furniture interchangeably. Unfortunate and inaccurate, it generates confusion and angst. Worse, it usually puts a hard stop on any further conversation for those that can’t, or won’t go there.

TRH believes it’s better to consider home staging as the overall, thoughtful process of preparing a property for sale, with the use of rental furniture as one option in that process.  Here are some of the times we’ve seen this be a solid decision that delivered good ROI.

 Large Property
  • Buyers pay for what they see as value. Big just for the sake of big has gradually been falling out of favor since the 90s. Further, basic economics and Millenials (praise be) are leading the way in helping it find its coat and move towards the door.
  • Yes, these properties will always exist in Westchester County, but the degree of demand will always wax and wane. So if you’re trying to sell one of these properties in our current market, even with a fair price, rental furniture that demonstrates function and lifestyle will help buyers correlate value to the space and its price.
49 Overlook Family Room Before, and After

Unusual Space/Floor Plan
  • The median build age in Westchester County is somewhere in the mid-1960s. That’s LOTS of styles, all sorts of improved/extended properties, not always done as might be expected.
  • Oversize, oddly shaped properties, spaces with unexpected flow are stumpers, as are open floor plans. Rental furniture showing expected functions and placement help normalize these spaces
  • In unusual floor plans, buyers or agents sometimes can’t find all the rooms, or even remember if they saw them all! Listing photos showing distinctive looks* create markers in the minds of buyers and agents, often inspiring them to persevere, find and remember all the rooms. Using rental furniture is one way*  to do this.
49 Overlook LR and DR Before and After

Vanilla Box
  • We can’t not see color and light. I’ll cop to the poor grammar but the science is proven: If you want people to see the space, bond with the space, you need to give them-and the camera!– something to look at, and to linger over.
  • Empty rooms with all the same one-size-fits-all-gray (or white) wall colors are easier to implement but are both boring and confusing for buyers.  Without anything to tell the rooms apart, is it 3 photos of 1 room, or 1 photo of 3 different rooms? They blur together.
  • Rental furniture is one way* to differentiate, add depth, life, and interest to underwhelming spaces

                                                    1061 Washington TV Room Before and After
Smaller or Choppy Space
  • Most folks are not spatially confident. And those who can visualize things tend not to trust themselves when it comes to the very big business of buying real estate.
  • Don’t do “cute”, even in kids’ rooms. It’s diminutive, lessening perceived value. Add value with bright color as punctuation (art, lighting, and pillows) against some simple, well-chosen basic pieces.  The right scale is critical. Choose pieces with simple details that are tailored and precise, in polished neutral colors for maximum ROI.
  • Choppy spaces make actual square footage feel smaller. Doorways, closets, windows, fireplaces, and built-ins all disrupt the flow of energy in a space. Thoughtful placement of art, lighting, and other props, * with perhaps a small furniture piece expand, and bring balance and unity to smaller or choppy spaces.
1061 Washington LR Before and After

Always remember real estate is an investment. Historically it’s done well here in Westchester, but there are risks, and never any guarantees. You can’t imagine how many (other) things there are to know in today’s market!!  TRH always recommends having a qualified and trusted agent at your side as soon as you know you’re going to sell.

*And we also recommend clicking here to read Part Two, the whens of whys rental furniture isn’t called for!!