When watching any of the remodeling shows on television, people constantly see a plain room transfixed into a gloriously designed showplace quickly. It’s called home staging. But is it right for you when it’s time to sell your home?
“Home staging is an invaluable marketing tool used by real estate agents and home sellers to make a property more visually pleasing,” says Nieves Caballero, content manager at FixR, a professional referral network which also offers home remodeling cost guides.
“It helps prospective buyers better visualize themselves living in the house. Correctly staging a home can transform it from a mundane residence to a highly desirable property.”
But each homeowner has to consider the costs, time and effort it will take, and how much they could yield from the process.
The initial cost and things to do
Home interior designers and other design professionals typically offer home staging services. An initial two-hour consultation with a home stager runs from $150-$600, and having a home professionally staged often ends up costing around $6,000 depending on the residence’s size, Caballero says.
Ideally, you should meet with several home stagers to look over their various portfolios and discuss pricing.
Stagers charge by the hour or with a flat fee. Your cost depends on where you live, and the size and condition of your house.
If you are on a budget, you can pay the consultation fee then gather your friends and family to help implement some of the ideas that will get you more money and a quicker contract, she says.
After your consultation, you’ll probably have to do some thorough cleaning, decluttering, repairs and possibly painting before any staging can happen.
Types of home staging and prices
Here are three types of home staging, Caballero explains :
- Vacant Home Staging: A vacant home that is 2,000 square feet will usually cost around $2,200 to stage and decorate. Once decorated, the home stager then charges a monthly fee until the home sells.
- Occupied Staging: A home that is occupied and already has furnishings costs less than a house that is empty. Typically, a home stager will charge a one-time fee of around $800 to go into a fully furnished home and organize and declutter the house so it is staged with the occupant’s personal belongings in a visually appealing way. Services include decluttering, moving furniture, and hanging artwork that belongs to the occupant.
- Staging Only Main Rooms: Many home sellers decide to only stage the main rooms of the home in an effort to save money. They often focus on the living room, dining room, master bedroom, and family room. If you opt to only stage a room or two then you can expect to spend $400-$700 for one 12×12 foot room.
Monthly expense of home staging
If your home doesn’t sell right away, you have to continue paying the home stager for the items. Most stagers charge from $500-$600 per month per room, Callabero adds.
If you opt to stage all rooms of a 2,000-square-foot home, then expect to pay $2,000-$2,400 per month until the home sells. Even if a home sells in a few days, most home stagers expect the full month’s payment. Prices tend to vary and be at the higher end of the spectrum if the home is multi-storied and requires additional workers to move and arrange the furniture.
Full-service home staging includes:
- Window dressings
- Furniture, throw rugs, knick-knacks, and wall hangings
- Displaying all accessories in a visually pleasing fashion
- Props such as plants, books, baskets, pillows, bedding, throws, and lighting fixtures
The worth of home staging
“Marketing a staged home is far easier than a vacant house,” Caballero says. “When tastefully decorated, each room can be photographed with a wide angle lens and the photos used to effectively advertise the home on the MLS and other real estate publications and sites.”
It is estimated that 90 percent of all home buyers search online for homes, so having colorful photos of a tastefully staged house will attract buyers.
Also, homes that have been professionally staged usually sell for 3% more than the anticipated price which makes the process well worth the expense, according to the Mortgage Daily News.
The Real Estate Staging Association reports that 90 percent of all staged homes successfully sell within a month of hitting the market.
“Overall, home staging helps the house sell quickly and for more money,” she says.