The subject of home staging has seen a recent surge of interest, due in part to TV shows that elevate professional stagers to the level of rock stars; however, you don't need a degree in interior design in order to make your home more marketable. Although staging is popular with sellers, landlords often overlook its importance in the rental market. By following a few simple rules, you may be able to substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to get prospective tenants to sign on the dotted line. 

1. Clear the clutter. Any home stager will tell you that the most important thing you can do to move a property quickly is to clear the clutter. If you don't have time to properly weed through a mess of items, at least box them up and relocate them. Get a storage unit or make use of extra basement space. Your unit will seem more spacious and welcoming, and there is also an additional hidden benefit in store for you: part of the moving process will already be behind you.

2. Keep it simple. It is important to de-personalize and simplify your space. The environment you create should subconsciously encourage prospective tenants to visualize their own furniture and possessions within it. Take down pictures of friends and family and remove childrens' art collections from the fridge.

3. Keep it clean. Nothing turns future tenants off more than dirt, grime, and dust bunnies. Even if they can see past a mess, they may not be able to see past filth. Make sure the bathroom and kitchen are well-scrubbed and the floors are vacuumed and/or mopped. 

4. Don't put off repairs - fix it now. Many owners put off repairs until they have checks in hand from their future tenants, but it is best to go ahead and make certain repairs before you start showing the place so that it looks more presentable to future renters. Things like broken blinds, mildew-ridden grout, and dust-caked ceiling fans are quick and easy fixes that can be done before showings commence.

5. Make a deal with the occupants. If you are not currently living in the unit and it is occupied by someone else, you may wonder how you can pull these things off without their cooperation. The answer? Make a deal with them. Offer them a generous gift card to their favorite restaurant if they are able to keep the place looking presentable while it is being shown. It may sound crazy, but it actually works. As you can see, with a small amount of time and effort, you can quickly transform your rental property into a hot listing. A space that shows well will fly off the market much faster than a dirty, cluttered space in ill repair. Stage your space for maximum impact and prepare to reap the rewards of a quick and easy rental!