10 Tips for Staging Rental Properties

5116 views September 1, 2017 December 27, 2022 Justin Stowe 14

Staging rental properties is a great way to help fill a vacant property quickly. The rental market is now more competitive than ever. Landlords and property managers need to put up a good show in their home staging techniques if they want to rent their homes quickly and for a good price.

Rental home staging includes every method of showcasing the qualities of your home in order to attract renters who will pay the highest price possible within a short period of time when it’s being listed. Renters are more dynamic in their needs, so you need to do several things to cover your bases.

The advantages of a well-staged home cannot be over-emphasized. A survey done by Coldwell Banker found that 95% of staged homes sell within 11 days after being listed and at a much higher price than homes that are not staged.  And the same applies to leasing.

As a landlord, staging your home for renting will help you create an inviting home, giving your home an edge in attracting the best tenants.

Here are ten tips to get you started.

Staging Rentals Tip #1:  Depersonalize your Home

This applies if you’re trying to rent out your existing home or even selling a house. This easy tip can create a great impression with a prospective tenant. Remove family photos, framed certificates, toys, and other personal belongings that give the tenant the impression that the home hasn’t been fully vacated. Also, do away with anything that may portray any political and religious affiliations. If not removed, they can easily detach renters from your home.

Your home should be staged so that the tenant can view it as if it’s already theirs. Nowadays, tenants commence their rental home search from the internet, and this makes it even more imperative to remove your personality from the house before taking your listing photographs.

staging rental properties

Staging Rentals Tip #2: Use Appropriate Colors

Getting your home ready for the rental market goes beyond using neutral colors. The right colors will better position your home in the rental market. Years back, most people believed that painting the interior of your home white would naturally appeal to tenants. But times are changing.

Most times, a monochromatic color scheme is more appealing when staging a home for rent. These colors aren’t distracting, allowing the tenant to focus more on the rest of the home. If their attention is drawn to the walls or ceilings, that’s a bad thing.

There is one exception, though. If your goal is to target artistic tenants, you may consider warm and creative hues or think outside the box. Don’t go overboard though, because what appeals to one person doesn’t always appeal to another. That said, this might be an angle to consider if your rental property is in an artistic part of town.

Staging Rental Tip #3: Create a Clear Identity for Each Room

The function of each room should be easily identifiable. Use the appropriate fittings and furniture that best describe the function of the home to be rented. For example, a home office should have a table, chair, shelves for books, and probably artwork or pictures for a more natural ambiance.

In addition to this, when the right furniture style and arrangement are used, your prospective tenant is better able to appreciate the size of the space than when the room is empty or sparsely occupied.

With the rearrangement and replacement of some of your furniture, you may be surprised how new life can be brought into your home, further depicting what space is meant for in a better way.

Tip #4:  Keep it Polished, Clean, and Deodorized

This cannot be overemphasized. Do a thorough cleaning of the whole house and be detailed about it. You may never know how detailed your best renter may be. Do a deep cleaning of the floors, walls, windows, doors, and ceiling.

Give adequate attention to minor stuff like the switches and door knobs. Give a good polish to those wooden floors, doors, and railing. Give the shower wall tiles a professionally polished look.

One thing to keep in mind is that if the previous tenant (including yourself) smoked in the house, everything would smell like smoke. The carpet, walls, etc. In that case, you’ll likely need to paint the walls and ceiling and either get the carpet deep-cleaned or replaced.

You want to appeal to the very best of tenants who will respect your place and keep it clean.  These tenants will also expect the same from the home when viewing it.  So, the more clean the home is, the higher the quality of tenants you will be able to attract.

Tip #5: De-clutter the Space

According to Amy Fontinelle of Investopedia, clutter detracts interest from your home and makes it seem like it doesn’t have enough space.

Don’t leave too much furniture around to erase this effect and make it easy for the new renters to picture themselves. Just leave the basics with a few accent pieces to add a touch of character.

Tip #6: Don’t Neglect the Exterior Spaces

The condition of your rental home’s exterior is the first impression a tenant will have – that curb appeal. Many tenants may ignore the nice appeal of the interior if the outside is not attractive.

staging rental properties

Trimming and shaping your hedges and lawn help ensure a better curb appeal.  Also, you should pressure wash the walkways and driveways. Ensure that exterior paints are not faded. When choosing flowers for your exterior, consider yellow plants. Yellow is ‘warm’ and has the ability to attract and make people feel at ease, giving the renter an attractive first impression.

When it comes to those external windows, ensure the glass panes and frames are spotless and clean. Wash those steel railings to keep them sparkling. If the railings are wooden, then you may consider some paint.

Remember, the point of rental staging is to make a prospective tenant fall in love with the place. If the yard is immaculate and looks like a place a tenant could call home, they may fall in love with the home simply for the yard!

Tip #7: Make the Most of Your Home’s Selling Points

Find ways to get the attention of the renter focused on the main features of your home. Do you have a neatly decorated lawn, a unique fireplace, or a grand staircase? Emphasize it! If you’ve got excellent storage space, flaunt it. Focus the lights on it and make it easily observable.

Every home has certain things that make it stand out above the rest. If you don’t leverage those strengths, you’re less likely to have as many renters trying to get in.

Tip #8: Lighten up the Rooms

Staging rentals should be focused mainly on making the home feel warm and welcoming.

Light creates warmth and makes the room more appealing to a renter. To brighten up your rooms, ensure you maximize the effect of natural light where applicable. Clean every dirty light fixture and replace broken lights with the brightest bulbs reasonably possible. If you still need more lights, lamps can be a good source of additional illumination.

Pay attention to the temperature of the LED light bulbs that you are purchasing today.  Unlike the incandescent bulbs that used to be the standard, with LED bulbs, the watt equivalent has zero to do with the color of the light.  A higher temperature color will give more daylight appeal, while a lower temperature will give more candlelight appeal. Choose a color that’s fitting for the room and environment.  You do not want a high-temperature light bulb in a bedroom!  Just like you don’t want a low-temperature light in a kitchen.

Ensure that all the window blinds are well opened, clean the glass to remove dirt and dusty films, and do not forget to remove any shrub or plant that may obstruct adequate natural light from entering the rooms.

When you want to take photographs for listings, do not take pictures in the bright afternoon with the sun rays creating unnecessary contact. Listed pictures are best taken at dawn or dusk, where the brightness can be adequately balanced with artificial light, positioned in the spaces you want to emphasize.  No matter what you do, ensure that you avoid dark and poorly lit spaces.

Tip #9: Make the Scenes Active

Don’t just leave the dining table bare. Set it with the dishes and add a centerpiece with flowers and fruits. Put logs in the fireplace. Switch on the TV but reduce the volume. Allow the curtains to bring more light into the spaces.

You’ve probably heard of people baking cookies right before an open house. There’s a reason why they do that. Besides giving them a chance to leave cookies for the potential tenants, it also helps the kitchen smell nice and comforting.

In private areas like the bathrooms, add some scented candles and make it more luxurious with a neat shower curtain. All of these will make the renters easily visualize themselves in the home.

Tip #10: Wow Them with a Grand Entrance

The entrance is the key to successful rental home staging. This is the renter’s first point of call. This is where he or she starts weighing his or her decisions. A grand entrance will captivate the attention of your renter, whereas the wrong impression could lead them to pass on the property.

Make the entrance functional. Add a bowl for your keys and a lovely entrance rug. Arrange nicely scented fresh flowers in a unique way and add a bench or seat for taking off shoes. A covered hanger for coats is an excellent idea.


The Real Estate Staging Association [RESA] reported that homes that were not staged before being listed stayed on the market for an average of 143 days. With the home staging tips mentioned above, you are assured of getting a good buyer within a shorter time.

The association’s staging calculator also helps you determine how much money you can spend or save when you stage your home before listing it.

Just remember that tailoring your rental staging to attract the widest range of renters possible doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. The ideas and planning are what matter the most. Although home staging can be time-consuming, getting you the best renter with a good price within a shorter period will pay off.

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