We wrote this article a few years ago for Realtor Magazine but think the information is still really relevant so we wanted to share it again here.
You can read the original article here: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2010/06/17/rent-furniture-to-give-new-life-to-your-vacant-listings/
Selling a vacant home poses all sorts of challenges for real estate professionals. It feels uninspiring, doesn’t photograph well, the rooms appear smaller than they are, there is typically a lack of light, and you often are competing with furnished homes in your price point.
Staging a vacant home with furniture solves all of these problems and more.
So what do you need to know about renting furniture?
There is typically a minimum rental term. Industry standard is three months. Shorter terms often require a surcharge.
Payment requirements vary. Some companies require the entire rental to be paid upfront, others charge monthly with a security deposit required upfront.
Not all furniture rentals include accessories.
Pricing is often based on the cost per item so your quote and final pricing may vary. This is normal if inventory has changed.
Ask what happens at the end of the initial rental term. Some companies automatically renew the rental and some will call to ask if you want to renew.
There are several, national “budget” rental companies – before you rent from them, take a look at the product you will be getting. Putting cheap furniture into a home to fill it up doesn’t fool anyone.
The best course of action may be to contact your trusted local stager. She will likely have experience with furniture rentals. She can get you a quote, select the furniture, coordinate delivery, meet the truck, and ensure the furniture is set up properly and trash is removed. She will also likely have accessories if your rental company does not, including the small details like light bulbs and pillows that don’t usually come with a rental, even one that includes accessories. And, most importantly, she will professionally style the home.