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When trying to sell your house, you may be advised to stage your home professionally. While it sounds ideal to have experts swoop in and make your home look its best before putting it on the market, it’s fair if you’re nervous about what it might cost.
According to Fixr, on average home staging costs $1,500. That may seem like a lot, especially since you won’t get to enjoy that refresh yourself, but it does look like the costs can be worth it. HomeGuide found that hiring a professional to stage your home can help your home sell 88% faster, while selling for 20% more, than homes not staged. There are no guarantees, but if you’re looking to sell your home as quickly as possible or to turn a greater profit, home staging often achieves those goals.
To help you get a better idea if home staging is a good fit for you, let’s walk through how to stage a house, how to save money on home staging, and what a home staging cost breakdown looks like.
What is home staging?
Home staging is temporarily redecorating your house so that when buyers come to tour it, your home looks its best and it’s easier for the buyers to visualize themselves living there. Home staging efforts go beyond adding charming furniture and decorations. A good home stager makes the home look larger, ensures the decorations appeal to a large group of buyers, and removes clutter and personal items that are difficult for buyers to look past.
Home staging offerings vary and many stagers offer different packages that suit all types of staging needs and budgets. Home staging can involve:
- An assessment of your entire home with documented notes and photographs of your home
- A detailed vision statement that guides design decisions
- Supporting documents that will outline rental furniture suggestions and room layouts
- Color scheme plan that incorporates painting
- A to-do list for the homeowners to help guide them through decluttering and organizing their home
- Professional decluttering, organization, and packing services
- Shopping services to buy or rent decorative items such as artwork, plants, and bedding
Professional home stagers may also make suggestions about things you can do to your home to make it sell, such as painting, adding in new lighting, and giving your home a deep clean. These recommendations will put you on the path towards getting your home ready to sell.
Is home staging effective?
While home staging may feel like an extra cost, if you’re struggling to compete in a buyer’s market, home staging may be the extra special touch that makes your home really stand out to picky house hunters.
Not only does having your home professionally staged help you sell it faster and for a higher price, but according to the National Association of Realtors, 47% of buyers’ agents reported that home staging affected most of their clients’ opinion of homes they toured. On top of that, 82% of buyers’ agents reported that home staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a home as their future home.
If you’re in a seller's market, you may find that home staging isn’t worth the fuss when every house on your block is in a bidding war. Do some research on your local real estate market to gauge whether or not home staging is necessary for you.
How much does home staging cost?
On average, home staging costs $1,500, but this expense varies depending on your home staging needs and the company you choose to work with. Consultations for home staging start as low as $200. A full-service staging — requiring furniture rentals and a hefty redesign of the home — costs as much as $10,000.
The following chart provides a home staging cost breakdown, detailing some of the more common staging services. It’s important to remember that these numbers are very general, but they give you an idea of what it often costs to meet your home staging needs.
If you want to save money on home staging, you can choose to have a consultation with a staging specialist. During your consultation (which usually lasts about two hours), you can take the plan they come up with for your home and implement it yourself. It will take more time and effort on your end to do this, but it does save a lot of money.
If you do decide to work with a company to stage your home, you’ll want to confirm with the stager if they charge by the hour or have a fixed rate fee. Learn about the costs upfront so you aren’t hit with surprise expenses down the road.
How to save on home staging costs
How much it costs to stage your home depends on the size of the home and how many rooms you want to professionally stage. If you have a five-bedroom house and plan to stage every room for a month or two while you wait for your home to sell, you may end up spending more than makes sense. But if you only intend to refresh your living room since it’s the first room people see when they walk in the door, you may not have to spend that much to make an impact.
In short, staging costs depend on how much work you want done on your home.
If you’re looking to save on staging costs, consider a few of these handy tricks for keeping the costs down.
1. See if your agent will foot the bill
Some listing agents will pay for the staging of a home, but will then take some of the proceeds of your home sale to pay for the staging. While this method won’t necessarily save you any money, it will stop you from investing in an expensive service before your home sells. Some listing agents only require you to give them 1% to 3% of the listing price to cover these costs. It’s worth asking your listing agent what your options are for staging.
2. Only stage key areas of the home
If you have a sprawling four bedroom house, you may not want to fund the staging of the entire house. Luckily, you can choose which areas of your home you want to stage. You’ll likely want to focus on the areas that potential buyers spend the most time in, such as the master bedroom, kitchen, and living room. The National Associations of Realtors discovered that staging the living room had the biggest impact on buyers (46%), but the master bedroom (43%) and kitchen (35%) also benefited greatly from staging.
If you’re not sure which rooms to prioritize, your stager should be able to help you pinpoint where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
3. Start with DIY
If you’re uncertain about whether or not you want to invest in home staging services, you can always try a DIY approach first. If your personal efforts don’t pay off and you struggle to sell your home, you can hire a stager down the road. Do some research on how to stage a house and see what tips you can make work in your home. Start by giving your home a truly deep clean and decluttering it (you’ll be doubly glad you did when it’s time to move). Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to rooms that are looking lack luster or add some fresh accessories to the space to make it feel really modern.
The pros and cons of home staging
Now that you know more about what it costs to stage a home and what the benefits are, let’s do a quick recap so you can consider your options. To help you decide if the cost of staging your house is worth it, here’s a quick round up of the pros and cons:
- Your house may sell quicker
- You can increase your profit
- Staging a whole home can be expensive
- Takes a lot of time an effort
- No clear timeline of how long you need to pay for furniture rentals
It’s important to note there is no right or wrong answer here. Plenty of home sellers benefit from hiring home stagers, but there are countless other successful sellers out there who didn’t stage their home and sold it for a great price.