Tips for “Staging” Your Apartment to Sublet Quickly

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Real estate agents and home owners have been using staging techniques for years: by creating an atmosphere that a buyer can easily picture herself in, it’s easier to sell a property. The same techniques can be used to quickly sublet an apartment. With just a few changes, you’ll find that your apartment is much easier to sublet.

Staging goes beyond simply ensuring that your apartment is attractive and clean. While a fresh coat of paint can definitely help you find a tenant to sublet your apartment, creating a home that a tenant wants to live in can require a little practical psychology.

Krista Watterworth is an HGTV host and an interior designer. She’s helped many tenants and home buyers stage their homes. Watterworth suggests that removing items that mark your apartment as yours can make it easier for a prospective subletter to imagine themselves living in the apartment:

“Photos of your nieces and nephews, your child’s artwork, and endless wedding portraits are great keepsakes. But a subletter want less of you and more of them.”

As you eliminate more personal items, it’s best to keep at least a few pieces of furniture and decorations in the apartment. Even if you’ve already moved most of your belongings out, setting the stage can help make a welcoming environment.

Watterworth says, “No comfy, clean furniture, no sublet. If your home or apartment is relatively empty, rental furniture is cheap and easy. Setting up a room to show off its basic purpose, that is living, sleeping or dining, helps a subletter see themselves in it (to win it!).”

While you may not need to bring in furniture for your kitchen or bath, a few fluffy towels or a dish full of snacks can create a lived-in feeling without adding mess to your apartment. An entirely empty apartment is harder to sublet, if only because it’s hard for a prospective renter to imagine herself in it.

You can tweak more than a prospective subletter’s visual sense of the apartment. By adding pleasant smells, like those of baking cookies, or playing some quiet music, you can create an entire experience in visiting your apartment.

You don’t have to be a real estate agent or interior decorator to stage your apartment: just focus on what parts of your apartment made you truly feel at home and emphasize them.


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