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Home Staging Options for Property Developers

There are currently 62 apartment block developments with hundreds of units on the market in Cape Town, starting from R700 000 and going right up into double digit millions. Developers needing to sell multiple properties have several options to attract buyers: from selling empty, to buying a fully staged apartment. Here are some pros and cons of each:

1. Buy a staged set up from a home stager

Professional home stagers know how to tug on those heart strings that make buyers' hearts soar.


  • Quick lead time: I own my inventory and have enough to stage a number of properties at one time in different styles. So I'm able to supply your development with everything you need to make that property look amazing - in just a few days.

  • Reasonable cost: Most of the items come from my inventory - they've only been used for staging so are "new" in that sense, but you get them for a really reasonable price.

  • Move them to other units You can move the furniture from unit to unit as they sell.

  • Sell some pieces: You may be able to sell some or all of the items to new owners.


  • Initial capital outlay: Your will need to front up with the entire cost - probably equivalent to 2-3 months rental cost.

Below: BEFORE AND AFTER. The developer had 19 townhouse units to sell or rent. This was accomplished in four months, two months earlier than they hoped for.

2. Buy the staged set up yourself

I sometimes quote developers who decide to buy the furnishings themselves. An agent or member of the office staff gets tasked to do this.


  • Save on stager's fees: You will not have to pay for my expertise, time, labour, transport and installation if you use a staff member.

  • Move them to other units: You can move the furniture from unit to unit as they sell.

  • Sell some pieces: You may be able to sell some or all of the items to new owners.


  • Spend on transport, labour and installations: You will still have to pay delivery costs for people to help you with the transport, and possibly pay others to make beds, hang pictures etc.

  • Longer lead time: Your chosen staff member will take much longer to buy all the things needed as they likely don't have experience in this.

  • Cost you more: Because you will be buying all new, it will ultimately cost you more than buying from my inventory.

  • Initial capital outlay: Your will need to front up the entire cost.

  • Final outcome not as great: When I look at developers who do a DIY job, it shows. The table is too big, there aren't enough chairs... that feel good factor is missing.

Below: AFTER AND BEFORE. The developer had numerous generic apartments to rent. After staging, the agents couldn't thank me enough. It brought in droves of applicants.

3. Get an interior decorator in

Stagers and decorators do very different work. My aim is make the property look desirable to a large group of buyers so that it sells fast. An interior decorator isn't concerned with saleability, but with making the owner happy. Stagers have more experience in furnishing properties for sale.


Decorators can put together a lovely set up.


Long lead time: Most decorators don't carry their own inventory. So their lead time in putting together a project is longer than a stager's.

Buying new products: Because they mostly don't have their own inventory, they have to buy new. Even if they get a trade discount - which they may not pass on to you - it's inevitably going to work out more expensive.

4. Rent from a home stager

I recommend this option if you only have a few units in a development to sell.

5. Sell it empty

A bad idea in this very competitive market. See below:

Below: THREE EMPTY PROPERTIES. Do you find this appealing? No, of course not!

6. Virtual staging

I see a lot of computerised virtual staging - some very professional, some really bad. But when a buyer has an image in mind and arrives to a cold empty space, they feel deceived and let down. Research shows that the longer a buyer spends in a property, the more likely they are to buy. Buyers typically spend much longer in staged homes.


Since I started in 2017, I've staged over 100 properties, many of which have sold before the first show day. How can I help you sell or rent your development faster? Let's start the conversation.


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How does the home staging process work?

If you've heard about home staging and want to know more about the process, this blog takes you through the A-Z. The first step is to get in touch with me through my website


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