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How Much Does It Cost to Stage a Home?

October 15 2018
by Leisl Bailey

How Much Does It Cost to Stage a Home?

Hiring a stager to help sell your home is a smart move for many sellers. We want to put our best foot forward and don’t always know what buyers are really looking for. That’s where a stager comes in. As you begin to crunch the numbers: adding up closing costs and realtor commissions, you’re probably wondering, “How much does it cost to stage a home?”

How much does it cost to stage a home?

According to realtor.com, staged homes sell an average of 88% faster and for almost 20% more than houses that aren’t staged. This is great news for those of you considering a home stager, but there’s still that issue of cost.

The average amount it costs to get a stager is between $2000 and $2400 per month. Many stagers require you to buy a package, which means if you sell your house two weeks into the contract, you still foot the bill for the entire package.

That may seem like a lot– ok, it is a lot of money to pay, especially if your house hasn’t sold yet– so it may help to see what you’re paying for.

House Staging

House stagers usually have a background in interior design or something similar, and are certified as home stagers. They do their research and know what buyers in your area are looking for when they walk into a house.

You’ve probably lived in your house long enough to ignore things like that discolored spot on the wall and the mail piling up on the counter, but your stager offers a new perspective. They come in with an eye for things that don’t belong and will turn a buyer off.

Some stagers will come in and help you declutter, then rearrange what you already have to make it more appealing. Others require that you get rid of everything except the major pieces of furniture.

Many stagers recommend you strip your place practically bare. Take away personal items like family pictures, knick-knacks, and posters. They also recommend that you don’t theme any of the main rooms– keep it impersonal. You want potential buyers to be able to see themselves living there.

In vacant homes, stagers will bring in their own furnishings. They’ll pull out pieces of art and oversized sofas to make your house look warm and inviting. Services like this cost more, though, and usually have extra costs attached.

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Tips for Using a Stager

If you’re looking for a stager, make sure to have a peek at their portfolio. You want to make sure they know what they’re doing, and it will show in their work.

Ask them questions such as, “What is the longest it’s taken a house to sell that you staged?” and “What is the average amount of time a staged house of yours has sold?” The stager’s answers to these questions will help you be sure you’ve found a good one.

Even if you are having a stager come help tidy up, you’ll want to declutter the basics first. Clear off major surfaces and clean-up the floor. If you have any catch-all spots, now’s the time to tackle them. Give the stager the best possible space to work their magic in.

Affordable Option

If you can’t afford the thousands of dollars it costs to get the full staging treatment, ask for a consultation instead. Many stagers offer a consultation for an average of $150 for 90 minutes.

During that time, they’ll go around your house offering suggestions on what to get rid of, repairs to make, and how to make the space more appealing. It’s best to record this session to help you remember and refer to later when you’re staging the place.

Some stagers will divide the consult in half, with one session full of recommendations and the second half (after you’ve completed their initial instructions) being more of a refining session.

Tips for Staging Your Own House

If you can’t afford to hire a stager or want to try your hand at it, here are a few tips to staging your own house.

Remove Clutter

Empty closets, pack away personal items, and basically act like you’re camping for a bit. Leave only the essentials out, and you’ll even want to put those away in cupboards.

Bring Outside In

Make the indoors feel more natural and inviting by having a piece of greenery in every room. This could be a vase of flowers on the kitchen table and a small rubber plant in the master bath, or even a fake ficus in the office. Having touches of nature will help buyers feel more relaxed and at home in your space.

Keep it Up!

While homes sell faster with staging, it’ll still take a bit of time to get it to close. During that time, it may be easy to let the clutter build again or tempting to bring your stuff back indoors.

Resist that urge!

The only way your hard work will pay off is if you keep it up.

Don’t Forget Outside

With all that staging completed indoors, don’t forget about the outdoors! Tidy up toys, bring in yard tools, and mow the lawn. If you have a back patio, stage that with some furniture as well.

You may consider planting a few flowers or shrubs to add to the appeal. Make sure your porch is free from loose items such as shoes and planters, though. You want the home to be inviting, but impersonal.

The choice to use a stager is one that many sellers don’t end up regretting. It can be a bit of an investment up front, but it pays off when your house sells quickly or for more than the asking price.

If you need a bit of help looking for the right person to stage your home, look to your real estate agent. They know the best in the field because they’ve worked with them to help others sell their homes.

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