Blog: Should you rent or buy 'show home' furniture?

April 2024

In this blog we look at the criteria for assessing whether property developers should rent or buy their show home furniture.

show home kitchen diner

Which is better: to buy or rent your 'show home'?

When I am asked by property investors about staging an empty property for sale or about creating a 'show home' I always start with few questions to assess the most cost-effective way to dress the property for marketing. This helps to gauge they should rent or buy their 'show home' furnishing package.

To note, it is only the furniture and furnishings that are rentable. If required wallpaper, lighting, flooring, fitted furniture, curtains/poles/blinds are supplied on a purchased basis.

The crucial questions are:

furniture rental

Housing development or a single build?

The first question relates to where the 'show home' is to be located and how many other properties there are? Is it on a housing development with numerous plots to be sold or is it an individual renovation or single new build? This will help to gauge how long the 'show home' will be required for.

Working from home space

How long will you need a 'show home' for?

A 'show home' for a medium to large housing development or block of apartments will be required longer-term. Therefore, it tends to be better value for money to purchase the furniture and furnishings. 

My rule of thumb, if you think the rental term needs to be more than 6 months it starts to be more expensive than the similarly styled purchased 'show home' option.

Staging a one off new build or renovation project, if styled correctly for the property and to appeal to the target market, should sell faster. In this case a short-term rental of the furniture and furnishings would be more suitable and cheaper than a purchase package.

Always remember that the lower end of the market, for first time buyers or down-sizers, is faster moving. The majority of the properties we have staged in this bracket have sold within a few days. However, I would always expect the larger and higher end homes to take longer. There are other factors to consider such as location, condition and style of the building. 

show home bedroom

Where does the furniture go between uses?

Renting furniture and furnishings to stage a property on the market is hassle-free. No additional fees or costs other than the scheme and rental charges and we organise it all for you. We design, deliver, install, remove and store everything.

If you purchase the 'show home' contents we design, deliver and install everything. You would then have to organise and factor in the cost of removal and storage for the inventory once it has served its purpose and until it is needed again for another property.

On multi-unit development site, the 'show home' can be moved from plot to plot as each sells...people always want the 'show home'! At Design Fix we also offer a show home move-over and redesign service.

With one-at-a-time developments, the storage fees could add up in between each build and don't forget the costs of the removal company.

Or, you could sell the contents you own to the buyers of the property for a package deal or offer it as an incentive.

bedroom furniture rental

Weighing up the options.

Some housing developers always choose the rental furniture route for ease. They factor in the staging costs from the outset as part of the marketing budget. Another consideration is cash flow. 

We are always here to help you weigh up all the factors when staging and styling your empty property on the market but, as with everything property investment related, it's a prediction and numbers game. The financials have to make sense with the market and the budget.

Staging is a very effective property marketing tool, with proven results and a lot more options beyond whether to rent or buy the inventory. Get in touch to find out more or to discuss your own project needs with the budget you have available.

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Susie Tucker, Design Fix

Staged by Susie: Should you rent or buy 'show home' furniture?

Susie Tucker is the founder of Design Fix. She has a BA hons in Interior Design and has worked in the design industry for over 30 years, owning her own interior design, staging and styling business since 2007. 

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