Market Ready: How to Stage Apartments for Rent or Sale

Whether you have an apartment to rent or sell, one of the most important things you can do is present it in an appealing way to potential tenants or buyers. One thing that can make all the difference between a signed contract and “let’s keep looking” is apartment staging, which lets you showcase all the best features and make a lasting first impression.

“Apartment staging is very helpful, as it is hard for people to imagine living in a vacant space,” explains Kay Cementina, a home staging expert and realtor in San Luis Obispo, California.

“Without any furniture to give it perspective, it’s very difficult to determine how large or small the spaces really are. Sometimes, a room seems smaller than it really is, and other times it might appear larger. The human eye just can’t gauge an empty space without some other element to bounce the spatial arrangement off of.”

Knowing how to properly stage apartments can add extra appeal and show potential tenants the way they can use various rooms, which is particularly helpful if there’s an irregularly shaped room or a space that might need a little creative thought to decorate.

“If the home has any ‘extra’ rooms like an office or a game room, then it helps to have the proper furniture in place so people can identify the purpose of the room.”

Boost Inside Appeal

The all-important real-estate rule of curb appeal gets a lot of attention, but it’s just as important to have that same inviting first impression in every room.

“Deciding where to live is an emotional decision, whether you are renting or buying,” Cementina explains. “You want to create an environment that is inviting, where they can picture themselves living their day-to-day lives.”

She says that putting attractive, high-quality furniture in place can help potential buyers or renters feel more at home and makes the overall space more appealing to them.

“Even if their furniture won’t be quite as nice as what you’re using, it’s easier to imagine how your life could be if you had such nice things. It makes you think about the nice things you could have when you move in there.”

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Pro Staging Tips

To stage an apartment so that it looks and feels like home, Cementina advises following some of these tried-and-true tips:

  • Don’t skimp on statement pieces. Look for standout items that truly contribute to the overall space and can give the apartment a fresh, inviting look. Keep scale in mind so that you don’t overpower the room with large furniture or make it look empty with furniture that is too small.
  • Think about placement. How you arrange the furniture is just as important as the type of furniture. Sometimes less is more; let the needs of the room guide your choices. “A perfectly placed sofa and chair can do wonders to any living room,” Cementina says.
  • Keep it light. Lighting plays an important role in the room’s environment, so put thought into how the lighting affects the space. “Many apartments have harsh overhead lighting or an outlet for a lamp,” she reminds. Adding an attractive lamp contributes to the visual appeal and sends a subconscious message as well: “No one likes to walk into a dark room, as you subconsciously sense it is a threat.” Warm it up with the right light.
  • Pay attention to bedrooms. “Even if you just put a double bed in the room, you want to have something that looks nice and gives an idea of how large the room is.”

When it’s time to stage your apartment, visit CORT Furniture Rental to create the look that will make prospective tenants more eager to sign on the dotted line.