Kelley J. Macchio / 252.305.6974

Staging A Vacation Rental Home

Staging A Vacation Rental Home

If you own a second home or investment property at the beach, chances are that it is already furnished, decorated and outfitted for your family and rental guests.  On Hatteras Island, we see very few vacant, unfurnished homes for sale. I can hear you asking, “Why am I reading this? Why stage a home that is already furnished?”  Because, there are three things that you can do to ensure your home on Hatteras Island sells at the highest price, and in the shortest amount of time, in the current market environment:

  1. Price your home competitively
  2. Ensure that your home appears to be loved and well maintained in the eyes of prospective buyers
  3. Repair, revive, replace to eliminate “Ewws!” and get more “Ahhs!”

Watching HGTV®  and flipping through Coastal Living® magazine, you’ve surely been introduced to the concept of staging a home.  Staging today takes on several forms, both real and virtual.   Vacant homes can be staged with rented furniture and decor items that may or not be available for purchase with the home. Others are staged virtually with the assistance of creative photography and software that superimposes furniture, lighting and paint colors.   Virtual staging is controversial, even in today’s ultra-digital world.   Imagine the excitement of viewing a virtually staged home online in the perfect image of  the dream home you’ve envisioned.  A few days later, you visit the home with your real estate agent, finding the home void of any furnishings, character and comfort.   I would bet my next commission check that while some might appreciate virtual staging (especially if they aren’t able to envision the home perfectly coiffed) most would feel duped.

On Hatteras Island, most of the homes for sale are vacation rental homes.  When a home is rented by a different tenant each week, how can it be staged when listed for sale?

Think about it, most homes here are offered furnished.  The sale might occur on a Thursday.  Guests are in the house for the week from Saturday to Saturday.  Rented furnishings would likely have to be removed and returned.  How is it possible to stage a home that is a vacation rental?

Staging a vacation rental home can be done, on a small budget and in a short amount of time.  We’re not talking about remodels, we are making subtle changes that can be inexpensive, nonintrusive and realistic considering the the resort and second home nature of our market.   The staging can be done without creating an illusion or disrupting the expectations of rental guests and the prospective buyer.  It can be done by recycling, “upcycling”, repurposing and rearranging.  There are plenty of venues for finding gently used and almost new items locally and at deep discounts if you know where to look.  With a little creativity and effort, a lot of impact can be had.  Why are we so confident that this can be done in a vacation rental?  Because we just did it at one of our listings right here on Hatteras Island!  Check out the before and after collage (above) of a small loft space.  For just over $100 it became a private place to escape with a laptop (some of us do have to take business calls or check in on work while on vacation) or cozy up with a good book while enjoying the views of the canal and Pamlico Sound.  If you look at the before and after photos below, you’ll see what some gently used furniture, a bit of rearranging and some creative repurposing can achieve in a space.

Are you thinking of selling your home on Hatteras but worry that it could use a little sprucing up to make a great impression in a competitive market?   Give us a call.  We’ll visit your home, prepare a free, no-obligation market analysis of the probable sale price of your home AND offer suggestions that can help your home to stand out against the competition.

Before Staging


After Staging



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