Have you thought about furniture rental for home staging instead of using your own furniture or buying new?
There are many options available for staging your home with attractive furniture. Of course, you can use your own furniture (assuming it is in good shape) and that will be the least expensive option for you. Or, you can use the just-purchased furniture you bought for your new house in your old house to stage it.
Another option is to hire a staging company and they will bring their own staging furniture in. You’ve probably seen the staging companies that the TV show “Flip or Flop” uses. If you look closely enough, you’ll see some of the same furniture pieces used in more than one episode of the show.
The last option, and the one we will discuss below, is renting furniture. Renting furniture is not terribly expensive unless you go wild on accessories and over stuff your rooms with furniture. Every piece you rent has a price and the small items can add up quickly.
Purpose of the furniture you select for staging
When renting furniture for staging, it is helpful to keep in mind the purpose of the furniture. Staging furniture is used to showcase a room’s size, function and give the room a bit of personality. Nothing more. You are not selling the furniture, you are selling your space.
It is easy to get hung up on getting home furniture that you like or would buy yourself. This is the wrong approach. Home stagers pick furniture that fits the size of the room, how the room should be used, and the style of the home. You are merchandising your home with furniture. Your tastes might tend towards Country French, but in a contemporary ranch, this style will be out of place and might just confuse buyers.
Why Rent Furniture
The cost of new furniture, delivering and installing it is not insignificant. Renting is a way to temporarily furnish your home’s spaces for sale. We want to emphasize temporarily.
When staging a home, you want the photographs to look great to attract online buyers and interest them enough to make an appointment to walk through your home. You only need a few days to accomplish this. A photographer should take no more than a day to take photos of your house. Even with the 3D imagery and home tours, a day is plenty and for sure your agent won’t pay for more photos than a good real estate photographer can take in a day.
Your real estate agent will no doubt have a broker’s open house schedule shortly after your home’s listing goes live. The furniture for staging should still be in the home for the first weekly broker’s open house. Any agent that misses your first open house will get the buzz from the other agents in the office.
The most buyers will also view your home in the first week or two. That’s when you need the rental furniture. When you get an offer, you only need a day or two to get an inspection and satisfy any other contingencies. After that, you don’t need the furniture any longer.
Try and get the shortest lease term for your rental furnishings that you can negotiate. Two to three weeks is plenty. But we do understand that many furniture rental businesses want a minimum of two months. In two months, they recoup most of the cost of the furniture you are renting from them and any rental after that, is profit to them. Not a bad business model for them.
You don’t want to keep the house furnished for months. The rental costs will add up as your price is, most likely, coming down. Potential buyers in month 3 or 4 will have the photos to go by if they need to see furniture in the spaces.
It should be noted that most rental businesses will ask that the furniture not be used while it is in your home. Any damage will be at your expense and you don’t want to have to spend money on furniture that might not be what you want in your new home. Some furniture rental companies will allow you to be in the home, but fees will be higher and you will have to live with a few adjustments to the deal.
Renting furniture will give your property a higher quality look and feel. Old furnishings with sunken cushions and stains don’t present the fresh, clean look you need to impress buyers so they can envision themselves living in your home.
If your family has been transferred or you have purchased another home and have already moved in, renting furniture is the perfect solution to an empty house which might be harder to sell in your area.
Furniture Rental Caution
Furniture rental companies are more than happy to sell the rented furniture to your buyer. We would caution home sellers i not to include the cost of the furniture in the home sale price during negotiations.
You know that buyers will want you to “throw in the furniture” if there are nice pieces involved, especially if your buyer is coming from overseas or if yours is a second home for them. Kudos to you for doing such a great job selecting your staging furniture. But you’ll pay retail for those furnishings and maybe a bit more and that comes off your profit from your sale. Remember, you are not in the business of making money for professional stagers or the furniture rental company. You are in the business of selling your home so you can put more cash in your pocket.
We would advise just telling the buyer where you got the furniture from and have them negotiate directly with the rental company or the home staging company.
Advantages to Renting Staging Furniture
1. After months of packing and cleaning, you’ll appreciate the fact that the furniture rental business you hired will deliver and set up the furniture you rented. Similarly, they will also pick up the furniture at the end of the rental period.
If they damage the furniture while moving it in or out of your home, that’s on them and you need not concern yourself with it or be responsible for it.
The furniture you will rent will be clean, fresh and look warm and inviting. This is a difficult look to achieve with well-worn upholstery and nicked or scratched case goods (wood furniture pieces such as dressers, end tables, and dining room tables.) Quality furniture will go a long way in appealing to buyers that like “new”.
2. Your buyer may not have the same taste you do. They will probably be younger than you and what they like (and their friends like) is going to be different. Your realtor will know what your typical buyer profile is and you need to stage for that profile. Renting furniture allows you to tailor your furnishings to the profile of your potential buyer to make them feel comfortable in your spaces.
3. You may not have the right furniture for other rooms.
The most common rooms that people state are the living room, kitchen and master bedroom.
If your home has a home office and you are using it as a craft room, you will need to furnish it with office furniture. Renting furniture to stage a home office will define that room’s function. More people are looking for a home office than a craft room with the demographic shift of more people working from home and who need office furniture.
Patio furniture is another area where what you have is might not be suitable or when your outdoor furniture is too weather beaten to impress buyers.
Lighting is important when selling a home. Homes should look bright indoors. Floor lamps are frequently available in furniture packages you can rent instead of using a table lamp on an end table to save floor space.
Dining rooms are one of the rooms people expect to be furnished. Dining tables are not inexpensive and renting one to showcase the entertaining space in your dining room is a good idea if you don’t have one in good condition.
4.When staging a home for sale, time is money. Whether you need a single furniture item or an entire house full of furniture, renting furniture will shorten your timeline from unfurnished to staged perfection.
We’d all love the luxury of finding the perfect sofa at a price that fits our budget. But getting a home on the market as quickly as possible takes preference over shopping trips. You can have style and expediency when you rent home staging furniture.
Staging adds value to your home.
- Staged homes reduce time on market (53% of sellers’ agents say staging decreases the amount of time a home is on the market, National Association of Realtors’ statistic)
- A higher selling price (44% of buyers’ agents note that staging increases the offer dollar amount)
- Yield a positive return on investment (2019, NAR)
Your Home’s Competition
You may think that your home’s biggest competition is down the block or across town. Unfortunately, this is no longer true. Your home’s biggest competitor was featured on television yesterday on any one of the countless TV shows that showcase home buying, renovating and selling.
In the most recent NAR survey of real estate agents from April, 2021 of home buyer expectations, the study found that 71% of survey respondents said that TV shows set unrealistic expectations and impacted their ability to sell a house. A notable percentage of agents concluded that:
- Buyers felt homes should look the way they were staged on TV shows
- Buyers were disappointed by how homes looked compared with homes they saw on TV shows
Staging a home is a huge task. If you are up to the challenge and have the time it is certainly possible to do it yourself. Renting furniture for staging will help you by reducing the time it takes you to stage rooms. It also lessens the worry that your furniture won’t appeal to buyers.