Is Home Staging Worth the Cost?

how much does it cost to stage a house

If you own a home, chances are something clicked with you when you walked through it the first time. What was it?

Perhaps it was empty and you’re the type of person who can recognize ‘good bones’ so you were able to visualize what you wanted.

The vast majority of people, however, do not possess this skill. That’s why if you’re selling your house, home staging may be a sound investment.

But how much does it cost to stage a home? And is it worth it for you? Let’s take a look.

What Is Home Staging?

Home staging is decorating a piece of real estate that’s on the market to entice buyers to buy it. And it’s not cheap.

So then why would anyone want to spend money on real estate they’re they already selling and not planning to further occupy?

Well, it gives a home a “lived-in” feel so potential buyers can more easily envision living there. But more than that, home staging can actually garner a higher price for your home.

If your real estate agent is recommending staging, it’s wise to consider it. Evidence shows that it can be worth the expense.

According to the National Association of Realtors, you could get a $400 return for every $100 that you invest in staging. When you compare that to the average sale price, it’s a reduction of 10-20% from asking.

So in other words, an average home with a $200,000 asking price will be reduced by $20,000 to $40,000.

Plus, take a look at how a staging consult can increase your sale price by 15%. 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less – which comes in at 87% faster than non-staged homes.

How Much Does It Cost to Stage a House?

Armed with the above information, you may not experience as much sticker shock.

The going rate for most home stagers is between $150 and $600 for an initial two-hour consultation.

From there, you’re looking at an additional $500 to $600 per month for each room.

Although your house may sell more quickly with a stager on your side, it’s important to note that many stagers charge for a minimum of three months. So you’ll want to clarify that during the consultation.

In total, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,600 to $2,400 per month furnishing a 2,000-square-foot house.

Just to be clear, this price is based on staging only a few strategic rooms such as the living room, master suite, and kitchen. It’s not for the whole house.

Why the Range of Prices?

Costs will vary based on a number of factors.

If a home stager merely needs to rearrange items such as knickknacks, furniture, and artwork that you already own, then you won’t have to spend as much.

There is such a thing as too many items though.

If you have an overabundance of antiques and other items, you may have to put some of that in storage. Or a stager may ask you to remove items of a religious or political nature.

Whatever the case, renting a storage unit will incur an extra charge.

On the other hand, if you’ve already cleared out most or all of your belongings and shipped them off to your new home, then you’ll be shelling out extra dough to rent furniture.

Plus, it’s standard procedure for stagers to purchase new accessories like fresh towels, flowers, and/or fruit. Potential buyers appreciate these small touches.

Another thing that can affect the price you’ll pay is the layout of your home.

Stagers typically use lightweight pieces of furniture that are easy to get in and out of the home. There are occasions where heavier furniture may be required and if you’re dealing with a multistory house, that means the stager will need to hire additional help.

And keep in mind, these prices only include basic decorating.

Painting, Cleaning and Other Services Not Included

During the initial consultation, a home stager will lay out his or her recommendations with you.

If you’re lucky, the professional stager will need only to arrange existing decor to put your home’s strengths in the best light while downplaying any weaknesses.

It’s not unusual, however, for a stager to recommend additional tasks such as painting, professional cleaning, refinishing floors, and updating lighting.

Fees for additional services can add up fast.

A fresh new coat of paint on a 12×12 room can cost anywhere from $200 if you do it yourself, to upwards of $790 for a professional painter.

Meanwhile, the average cost of maid service is in the $150-170 range. It’s not a huge expenditure to guarantee that you have a clean and inviting home though.

And depending on the complexity of the work, refinishing floors and updating lighting will likely cost you a lot more than that.

So you’ll need to take all of that into consideration.

Is It Worth It for You?

As we’ve mentioned, the price for home staging can vary quite a bit. So whether it’s worth it for you will depend on all of those factors.

One thing that is for certain though is that if you have a vacant home, it’s highly recommended. Especially when you consider the fact that you’re already paying bills every month on it.

That extra expense will make your vacant home look much more inviting and help potential buyers envision it as their own.

Yes, it’s going to be an average of $2,000 per month. And if the stager requires a minimum of 3 months, then you’re looking at paying out a minimum of around $6000.

But for that price, you’ll get the initial design consultation, service fees, furnishing, decorating and removing the items after the job is complete.

If your vacant home has been sitting empty and for sale for a long time, you’re already throwing away money. So from that perspective, that $6,000 could just end up being the best money you ever spent.

Are You Selling Your Home?

It can be a stressful time. Especially if you aren’t getting any offers.

But now that you have ballpark figures to answer the question of how much does it cost to stage a house, you may be ready to hire your own consultant.

For more great information, keep checking back for new content.


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