Home Staging with Renters

Posted on July 13, 2010. Filed under: decorating, home staging |

This can be a particularly sticky situation. They may not be happy about showing the property and they will be less motivated to help you get a quick sale. 

So how do you stage a home when it is occupied by renters? 

I recently completed a project like this near Columbia, Maryland and here is how I approached it: 

  • Ask them to do less: limit staging requests to those that are essential. By creating a short list of requests the staging process is less intimidating and you are more likely to get at least partial compliance.
den in staged condo

I asked them to remove this rug. It covered a beautiful floor and made the room feel smaller


  • Prepare the spaces for the photographer and then put the renter’s things back where they were: This way the potential buyer can see what the space would look like in it’s best condition even if it looks slightly different when people actually tour the property.
staged kitchen in rented condo

We removed the renters' things to reveal the gorgeous kitchen and then put it all back


  • Let the Realtor be the good cop: If there is bad or unwelcome news to share about the staging (ie: pack up your knick knacks and piles of stuff) the stager becomes the bad cop. When the stager is the messenger of unwelcome news, the Realtor is able to maintain a friendlier relationship with the renter. This may make the difference between a renter who feels resentful and a renter who is cooperative for showings.
  • Make a list of necessary repairs and ask the Realtor to present them to the property owner not the renter. The property owner can decide whether or not the renter is responsible for the repairs but I recommend that the property owner take care of them unless there are extraordinary problems.
  • If you are hosting an open house, get the Realtor or property owner offer to pay for a professional cleaning service. This takes the burden off of the renter while assuring that the property will sparkle.

Preparing a property for resale is always difficult regardless of whether it is vacant, owner-occupied or tenant-occupied.A good home stager should always be aware of the feelings of the people you are working with. I sometimes feel like I am part decorator, part therapist, and part organizer. 

“til Next Time 

Make Yours A 

Welcome Home 

If you are interested in a home staging or decorating consultation, please e-mail me for rates and more information or go to www.interiordesignsolutionsmaryland.com I am available for on-site and virtual consultations.


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