If you don’t have a library of staging items when charged with selling a vacant home or showroom unit, there’s always cardboard. Yes, cardboard.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Staging a home isn’t the easiest part of selling a home.

Clients can be resistant to the concept altogether, taking too much pride in their sense of design and paint color. Others are all for it, but insist on doing it themselves.

Sometimes you probably wish every house hit the market empty of the seller’s personal touches and testaments to contrasting paint schemes so you could stage from scratch.

Or, if you don’t have a library of staging items when charged with selling a vacant home or showroom unit, there’s always cardboard.

Yes, cardboard.

Companies such as Netherlands-based Cubiqz and Nardi Cardboard Solutions of Italy are starting to build their lightweight, foldable creations here in the United States.

Designed for quick, easy assembly and a modern look, cardboard furniture is ready for every room of the house. And no, it doesn’t look like you let your children decorate an old refrigerator box.

Instead, these products use heavyweight cardboard covered with standard slipcovers, and in some cases, photo-realistic coverings. For example, kitchen cabinets will appear to have hinges and drawer pulls.

Agents or interior designers can choose from entire room packages or individual pieces. Assembly is purported to be a snap.

Most importantly, companies send a long “don’t sit” cards for use with their products. Use these placards liberally, or things could get awkward.

Temporary furniture such as this is common in the trade show world, offering companies ways to affordably send materials and display products. However, it seems to be making its way into the residential real estate.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based NextStage Furniture sells fake furniture for staging that can hold up to a thousand pounds. Granted, a prospective buyer who tests that weight limit will know it’s not real. But that realization is better than trying to explain it to them while helping them up.

It would be natural for most staging professionals and agents to eschew a cardboard solution, as it could be construed as cheap and not very authentic, especially when staging is ultimately meant to convey the potential of home, not merely fill space.

Arguably, in small urban settings and high-rises, it’s more important to understand space and room dimensions, something cardboard furniture could easily help convey. Additionally, it’s exceptionally portable, making it ideal for small elevators and stairs.

It’s also reasonable to assume that a seller might not love the idea of their home being filled with artificial, foldable furniture. Then again, it could be a decent option of ancillary rooms, like furnished basements or to show a how an extra bedroom could be used as a home office.

Regardless of how you choose to fill an empty space for sale, remember that almost every deal simply comes down to location and budget. The first is fixed, but the second can move even if the furniture is fake.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

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