How Much Does Home Staging Cost and Is It Worth It?
Look at any real estate website and you’ll see bright, cheerful homes that look move-in ready. You’ll also find gloomy houses cluttered with personal items. What makes one home look better than the other? Home staging.
Home staging is the process of deep cleaning, rearranging, and remodeling your house. The goal is to appeal to the most potential buyers.
The National Association of Realtors found staged homes sell faster. 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging the home made it easier for people to visualize the house as their future home. Also, 49 percent of buyers’ agents said home staging effects how buyers view a home. The result was buyers offer more money for a staged home.
Staging can range from decluttering to replacing all your furniture with rented pieces. Completely furnishing your home with a neutral palette may seem extreme. But, it’s an effective way to help buyers imagine themselves living there.
So, how much does home staging cost? Does it work? Should you hire a professional home stager? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to home staging.
What Is Home Staging?
Thanks to reality television shows, most consumers understand the concept of home staging. It’s when a seller invests time and money on their property to get a better sale price.
The Real Estate Staging Association says that homes staged before listing sell faster than similar non-staged homes. That’s a big difference.
Staging gives sellers a way to beat out the competition without lowering the price of the home. Instead, home staging helps you improve the look and flow of your home. A professional stager helps buyers see all the potential in your house.
Most home buyers start their search online. A professionally staged home means attractive photographs. Appealing photos online are the first step in attracting a buyer to tour your home.
How Much Does Home Staging Cost?
Get estimates and bids from several home stagers before choosing one. There isn’t a set cost for staging a home. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for the price.Check the stager’s schedule to make sure it works with your timeframe. Finally, get everything in writing.
Professional house stagers advise on what to keep or remove from the house before listing it. They determine other ways to maximize the home’s value. That may mean replacing cabinet doors or painting the home interior.
The cost to stage a home varies depending on:
- The size of the home
- Length of staging time
- Available furniture
- Type of staging
- Location of the home
- If the real estate agent shares the cost
Sellers should expect to spend between several hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Professional home stagers charge in two ways. Some act as consultants and charge by the hour. Others charge a flat rate. Both methods charge for any materials needed to stage the home. That includes artwork, accessories, and temporary furniture.
If you’re on a budget, consult with a home stager, then take a DIY approach to implement ideas yourself.
Plan on deep cleaning and decluttering your home before staging begins. You may also need to paint and complete repairs first.
Related Staging Costs
Besides the consultant and staging fees, you may have other costs.
The number one rule of home staging is to declutter. This goes far beyond clearing countertops. Reduce items on shelves, switch big furniture for smaller, and clean out the closets.
If you’re living in the home, you need somewhere to stash your belongings. You don’t want to stuff everything in a shed or garage. That could make potential buyers think there’s a lack of storage space. It also makes it difficult to view those areas.
Instead, realtors recommend renting a storage unit. The cost to rent storage depends on how much stuff you have, and how long it’s in storage.
Some stagers own furniture you can rent while your home is on the market. Renting from a local furniture store is another option. It’s smart to use the stager’s furniture. They know the best way to showcase space with their furnishings.
If your budget is tight you may not want to rent furniture the entire time your home is on the market. In that case, rent furniture for marketing photos. You can leave the space vacant, or move some of your own furniture back in.
Post your marketing photos in your online listing. Since everyone begins their home search online, photos are as important as an in-person tour.
If your kitchen or bathroom is in bad shape, remodeling makes sense. This is a more expensive option. During a remodel only choose styles that appeal to the most people. You don’t want to lose a sale because you redid the kitchen in a very specific style. To learn more about the cost of updating your home, consult a professional builder.
It’s a good idea to check your homeowner’s insurance coverage before staging. You want coverage in case of any damage to the staged furnishings. Check with the home stager to be sure there is insurance to protect against damages to your home.
Types of Home Staging
There are three common home staging situations.
Staging a Vacant Home
You’ll need extra organization if you’re in the home while it’s for sale. Every room needs a bit of staging. Don’t assume you can put extra furniture or belongings in a spare room. It’s a turnoff for potential buyers.
The cost to stage a 2,000 square foot home that’s vacant is about $2,200. After staging the home, there is a monthly fee until it’s sold.
Staging an Occupied Home
Staging an occupied home with furnishings costs less than prepping a vacant house. The home stager usually charges a one-time fee to organize and declutter.
The home is staged using the occupant’s belongings. The stager will rearrange furniture and accessories and declutter the home. Expect to pay a fee of around $800.
Keep the home tidy. Put kids toys away. Reposition furniture. Don’t block doors or windows. No dirty dishes in the sink or towels on the bathroom floor. The house should be tour-ready at all times.
Staging Main Rooms Only
You can choose to stage the main rooms of the house. This costs less, but still makes the home appealing to buyers. Commonly staged rooms are the living room, kitchen, family room, and master bedroom. Plan to pay $400 to $700 to stage a 12 x 12-foot room.
Pay close attention to the front of your home. You want to make a great first impression. Stage the front door and entry. Does the doorbell work? Is the porch light bright? Make sure the first room buyers enter is inviting.
The more expensive the home, the more it costs to stage it. Yet, the cost of staging your home is always less than the first price reduction on the asking price.
What Isn’t Included in Staging?
What is included depends on the home stager. Updates like painting, new flooring, and landscaping are the responsibility of the homeowner. Paint colors and product recommendations may come from the stager.
The owner must clean the home before staging, and during the time it’s on the market. Packing, moving, and storing any belongings is the owner’s responsibility.
Home buyers notice burnt out light bulbs and missing outlet covers. If you neglect little things buyers won’t trust that you’ve maintained the big things. Upgrade lighting. Fix outlet and light switch covers. Replace door stops and handles. Oil squeaky door hinges. Consider re-caulking the kitchen and bathroom for a fresh look.
Freshen your landscaping. Weed and mulch flower beds. Make sure the exterior of your home has curb appeal.
Discuss pets with your professional stager. Many stagers won’t stage a home with cats since the cat can scratch rented furnishings. Some home stagers won’t work on homes with pets. Others only stage homes where pets aren’t allowed in the staged rooms.
Hire a Home Stager to Boost Your Sale Price
Buyers decide they like a home or not within minutes of entering. You only have one chance to make a first impression. If you skip home staging, many buyers won’t see your property’s best attributes.
The fact is, many people can’t visualize a space’s potential. When you stage your home, they can imagine how to arrange furniture. They don’t have to look past clutter or decor they don’t like. Instead, they see appreciate the home.
Real estate sales are competitive. If you don’t hire a professional stager, you’re competition will. Ask yourself how much does home staging cost compared to not staging your home. Don’t risk losing a buyer to a nearby property that’s staged to sell.
The stager isn’t attached to your house. A professional home stager can give honest, unbiased advice on how to present your home. It’s important to remember that selling your home isn’t about you. You want to appeal to the most buyers. A detached third party can help you do that.
A professionally staged house sells for more than a non-staged house. They also sell faster. Most staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That’s because proper staging shows the buyer the true potential of the home. When the home looks great potential buyers don’t need to make costly renovations. That results in higher offers.
Want to learn more? Read our blog for more articles and information to help you buy or sell a home.