Small studio: furnish or not?

3 Replies

First-time real estate investor and landlord here.

I bought a small studio (less than 500 sq ft) in downtown. The HOA requires minimal 12-month leasing term. The unit has a built-in Murphy bed and all appliances. I have a gut feeling that prospective tenants who want to live in a small studio usually have no furniture. Would you share your experience if you own a small studio? If you furnish it, do you buy or lease furniture?

Why am I asking: it has been one month since I posted the rental property to Zillow, Craigslist and social networks with a reasonable price below Zillow’s estimate. However, I only received 5 inquiries and never heard back from them. The picture on Zillow is staged (from the previous owner) but I told them it’s unfurnished.

Suggest you show people what they will be living there furnished or not to show realism. 

I suspect your asking rent is high. Normalize make rent slightly lower than your competition but higher than 1 rm lease. You should get tenants.

@Zig Lee your photos should be of the actual unit as it currently is, not of staged photos from a previous sale. Why? because there are a plethora of scam properties online that advertise for rent but use old MLS photos. As renters are looking through Craigslist, Zillow, etc. they will most likely think your property is a scam - I know I would.

That being said, the winter is a slower time for rentals as most people do not want to move in the fourth quarter. Your price is most likely too high for the current market if it is still sitting vacant. Check out for some quick insight on rentals in your area. Best of luck!

Thank you @Sam Shueh and @Ariel Vincent for your great suggestion!

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