Professional Home Staging – Is it Worth the Cost?

is it worth the cost to hire a professional home stager

For sellers, home staging has become a “must do.” Home staging makes it easier for potential purchasers to see the property as a future home. According to industry research, staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes.

Is home stagingĀ worth the effort?

You may be influenced by all the home selling shows on television.Ā  There are a few things to remember about these shows that are not communicated well enough to viewers.

First, none of the staging furnishings are rented for longer than it takes to show the “reveal”. Since these shows publicize the staging company, the show is able to rent the furniture for a day or two, not the typical monthly rental you would be charged as a one off by professional stagers. So, the cost to stageĀ these homes is far less than you would pay for the same work.

Also worth noting is that staging is supposed to help a potential buyerĀ imagine themselvesĀ living in the home.Ā  A lot of the “stuff” that is selected for the shows is provided by advertisers. Perhaps you’ve noticed lately that the staged homesĀ are over decorated with a personality and too many accessories. You’re actually shown a commercial for the advertiser’s inventory.Ā  That’s thousands of dollarsĀ of merchandise that the average person would never spend to stage their home.

Don’t think for a minute that those 8 minute DIY projects aren’t promoting someone’s goods or services.Ā  The trueĀ benefits of staging are to sell a home faster, not provide a travelogue of craft projects that no one has time for when getting their home ready for market.

All that being said, when you stage your home, you are not just competing against the similar home down the street or across town.Ā  You are competing against the thousands of hours of television your home buyer has watched.Ā  The TV viewer has developed a keen eye for design over the past 20 years and has an opinion about everything.Ā  No stainless steel appliances?Ā  House is overpriced.Ā  No hardwood floors? Carpet just won’t do. Country decor? Sorry, that is so 1990s and farmhouse chic and shiplap are what today’s buyer wants.

So you have your work cut out for you.

Key considerations for home staging

Property staging is the process of carefully decorating and preparing an empty home for sale on the real estate market.

Staging a home, according to proponents, can boost a home’s selling price and the possibility that it will sell quickly by allowing potential buyers to see how they will use the livable area.

However, staging comes at a price: you’ll have to pay for the stager as well as the rental of furnishings and home accents while the house is on the market.

We’ll look at the expenses and benefits of home staging to see if it’s worth it.

What is the definition of staging?

Good staging is a form of visual merchandising that draws on some of the fundamentals of interior design. The goal of staging is to flatter the property but without calling too much attention to it.

Good staging allows prospective buyers to visualize themselves in the property; it highlights its positive characteristics while concealing its defects; it transforms odd spaces into useable spaces; it creates an emotional attachment and it improves the home’s photo appearance.

The Advantages of Staging

Staging is a relatively new concept; barely 20 years ago, no one cared about it.

Before putting out the ā€˜For Sale’ sign, giving a house a good scrubbing and hiding the cat box was thought to be sufficient. House stagers are now being hired by an increasing number of home sellers around the United States. As a result, it’s extremely probable that your home will go up against homes that have been professionally staged. Furthermore, the enormous popularity of HGTV shows has raised buyer expectations. (see above)

A stager can also assist you with your web listing. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey, 93 percent of respondents use the Internet throughout their home hunt. That means your house needs to look great on the internet. Professional staging and photography may help you achieve this.

Think about the return on your investment.Ā  Balance the costs of stagingĀ against carrying your house for an extra month or two, or taking a huge price reduction.

How Does Staging Affect the Time It Takes to Sell a House?

The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) includes a staging savings calculator that will help you calculate how much time and money you’ll save (mortgage payments, carrying costs, etc.) if you stage your house before listing it. According to its “Consumers Guide to Real Estate Staging,” houses that were not staged before listing sat on the market for an average of 143 days and perhaps more for a vacant home.

These homes sold in 40 days after they were staged. Homes that had been staged prior to listing spent an average of 23 days on the market.

How Does Staging Affect the Price of a Home?

According to the NAR report, 58 percent of sellers’ realtors feel that buyers are willing to pay more for properties that have been staged (29 percent think they offer 1 percent to 5 percent more; 21 percent put the increase at 6 percent to 10 percent ; 3 percent put it as high as 20 percent ). Only 14% of realtors believe staging has no effect on the selling price of a home.

When you use your own furniture and the staging makes it appear great, the buyer may offer to purchase the furniture as well.

How Much Does Staging Cost?

Home stagingĀ cost is one of those situations when the answer is ā€œit depends.ā€ Because there are so many variables, it’s impossible to put an exact price tag on staging: the state and city where the property is located; whether it’s a vacant property or one that’s being lived in (vacant properties really do need to have some furniture added because seeing a vacant house exposes every flaw); and whether it’s a vacant property or one that’s being lived in (vacant properties really do need to have some furniture added because seeing a vacant house exposes every flaw). whether you want a stager to do a walk-through and produce a report; whether you want a total house makeover using your own furniture or furniture provided by the stager; or whether you want all rooms or only the living room and kitchen done.

Some stagers bill by the hour, while others charge a flat rate. Make sure you understand all of the conditions of any contract you sign, including the initial fee, the timeline, and any additional costs, such as furniture rentals. Become familiar with the staging processĀ so you know what stagers chargeĀ for.

In recent years, a new type of staging has emerged: virtual staging, in which furniture and accessories are photo-shopped into rooms. It’s worth thinking about for internet images, and it’s less expensive than staging. However, complete transparency is required. Virtually produced photographs on a website have been shown to increase viewing numbers and may persuade someone that the property is worth looking at.

Professional staging vs. do-it-yourself staging

Consider the design skills, time, and energy that staging will necessitate, and whether you can do the task on your own.


Where Can I Get Professional Help?

For staging, unlike certain occupations, there is no recognized licensing agency or exam. Anyone may call themselves a stager, so getting referrals from a seller you know who has used and had success with a particular stager, or through your broker, is the best way to discover one. A good broker will have contacts with reputable stagers.


The expense of staging by a professionalā€”someone with a proven track record in the industry, a good sense of sound design, and a good reputationā€”can be money in the bank for you. If staging helps you sell your home faster (by preventing it from sitting on the market for too long and causing people to wonder what’s wrong with it), if it saves you a month or more in carrying costs, and if it generates the kind of buzz that results in offers above your asking price, then it’s money well spent.