Home Staging Cost Guide for 2021
We put together a home staging cost guide with detailed information regarding home staging in general and the cost for home staging services.
It’s true what they say about first impressions, they last! If you want to sell a home, you have to present it at its best and make it have a perfect look for the first time round while at the same time create a lasting impression. In the real estate industry, it’s all about creating a first impression. If you don’t get it right the first time, you are setting yourself to a no-deal situation. Buying a home is a critical decision. The homebuyer has to identify with that particular home.
Home staging simply taps into the psychology of a potential buyer. You have to make your home appealing, create a picture-perfect, and package it to suit the needs and desires of a buyer. A research study shows that about 81% of buyers say that home staging makes them easily visualize that particular property and identify with it as their future home. More studies show that a potential home buyer is more likely to make up their mind about buying the home ten seconds after stepping in the front door. In fact, a potential buyer will start forming an opinion about your home as they pull into your driveway. At that point, you have little room to impress them and create interest.
Home staging is simply a strategy to sell your home faster. According Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation, homes that have been staged stay for about haft the time on the market and sell faster than non-staged homes.
The report further shows that staged homes spend about 73% less time on sale. Staging your home is simply a way of showcasing your home’s best features and capture the attention of a potential buyer. It creates a visual setting that makes the buyer envision themselves in the current home set up. Selling a home is about creating illusions, moods and an actual picture of a home setting. It’s about packaging your home, the same way you would package a product to appeal to customers.
What Is Home Staging?
Home staging, also commonly known as house fluffing, or real estate staging, is the process of decorating your house in preparation for a sale. Home staging brings out the strength of your home, conceals its weakness and aims to appeal to a majority of prospective home buyers. It prepares both the exterior and the interior of your home to make it desirable and attractive to potential home buyers. It’s a way of positioning your home to make it sell quickly. When you put your home on the market, you desire to sell it off as soon as possible. According to a survey report by the National Association of Realtors, the initial price of your home will keep on dropping the longer it stays on the market.
Nowadays, selling a property is a tough task. The real estate market is a tough and competitive industry that requires dedication and a lot of hard work. Home staging is an effective marketing strategy in the real estate industry that picked up after the housing market crashed. Since then, the real estate agents came up with ways to make homes on sale stand out from the fierce competition. Even though the real estate filed is still competitive, homeowners have an opportunity to showcase their houses and make a quick sell through home staging.
Home staging simply brings the best out of your home. If you are going to appeal to a buyer to make a lifetime investment, you have to make your home appealing and captivating enough. Home staging makes a home appear lived. It aims to make a potential buyer feel like they are already at home the moment they step into your property. It goes beyond decorating, furnishing and cleaning. The idea is to create a mood and a homely setting.
Staging is a magical way of making your home appear bigger, inviting, warmer, cleaner, homely and loving. It’s a way of making a potential buyer think of buying the home instantly when they get inside. The process involves cleaning, painting, decluttering and repairs. After that, the house is then dressing up to make it appealing and ready for sale. Staging incorporates the use of additional small details to make your home unique and give it a wow factor. It’s an essential investment that pays off big time when you are selling a home.
How Does Home Staging Work?
If you are planning to put your home on the market for sale, listing it and putting a “for sale” sign is not enough. The real estate market can be sluggish, not to be mention fiercely competitive. As a home seller, you have to employ an extra step to make your home sell faster. One of the effective ways to make your home sell faster is to make a good first and lasting impression through home staging. Staging homes up for sale it’s a marketing concept that has rapidly become popular in the real estate market. Home staging helps you sell your home at a good price and reduces the duration your home takes to sell.
Home staging might cost you nothing. Sometimes all that is needed to home stage your home is simple cleaning, decluttering and arranging furniture. But, a majority of homeowners who put their homes on sale, home staging becomes a financial investment which involves painting, repairs, lighting, landscaping and furnishing the interior space. But, according to real estate experts, home staging is not just about decorating and furnishing. It’s more of getting rid of your personal style, and instead, creating an environment that prospective buyers identify with and can easily picture themselves in the house.
So, the question in your mind might be where to start? Should you do the staging yourself or should you hire a professional to stage the home? Before you finalize on the decision to put your house on the market, you need to be aware of the three key factors that potential home buyers consider. They include the location of the home, the price and the condition of the house. You cannot change the location of the home. You also probably want your home to fetch the desired price. That leaves you with the condition of your home as the only factor that you can maximize on to sell your home.
Tidying up and decluttering might o the trick. But according to Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp, home staged home usually sells at a higher cost of about 6% than the asking price. Thus, home staging is a crucial aspect when selling a home. The first step is to hire a professional stager, mostly known as Accredited Staging Professionals (ASPs). Often, some real estate agents can double up as ASPs.
Professional home stagers often make the work easier as most of them offer to stage your home with their supplies. This includes furniture, paintings, art, rugs and other decorative home essentials. This reduces the burden of spending money on the home staging requirements and the time you would have spent trying to figure out the right neutral tone. Professional home stagers are familiar with the market dynamics and can effortlessly transform your home to appeal to a would-be home buyer.
Cost of Hiring A Professional Home Stager
We a have established that a staged home is more likely to take a shorter time to sell than a non-staged one. It is better to invest in staging your home than to have it stay in the market for an extended period and end up selling it at a lower price. You need to get it right the first time and increase a potential buyers’ interest in buying a home. To achieve a quick sale, a buyer needs to envision themselves taking residence in your home; they need to identify with the house and see themselves in that home.
Professional home stagers create this kind of illusion with the aim of boosting your sale at the asking price or more. Through one-time consultation, to partial staging, fluff staging, and full staging, home stagers work with your package to ensure that your home is de-personalized and has the right theme to appeal to a potential home buyer.
If you want to have your home staged for sale, you will need to involve an interior designer or the services of a real estate agent who knows how to go about home staging décor. The initial cost of home staging usually caters for about one to two hours of consultation. The professional will use these two hours of consultation to assess your home, walk through it taking necessary notes and details. They will come up with a detailed report on what needs to be changed or added to make your home appealing enough to compete in the real estate market and sell faster.
The professional will explain the modifications required and make you understand why they are necessary. On average, the initial two-hour consultation session during the home staging process will cost around $150-$600.
If you have a vacant single-story home of let’s say, 2000 sq. ft., expect to spend an average of $4000 for a full home staging project where each room will be staged. Once the home has been fully staged, you will be charged a rental fee of about $200 per month.
But, before you hire a professional home stager, you should ensure that you meet several of them and have a look at their portfolios and have a candid discussion on their pricing. Most professional home stagers charge per hour, or if the project is big, they can give you a flat fee. The pricing will majorly depend on the location, condition and the size of your home.
If you are working on a budget, you can have a professional home stager assess your home and give you tips on what needs to be done, which is basically a consultation. After you pay for the consultation, you can use the recommendation tips from the home stager to stage your home through DIY. You can get help from your friends and family to ensure that your personal style doesn’t get in the way of home staging. But remember, a successful home staging will require decluttering, thorough cleaning, repairs, painting, and proper lighting.
Types of Home Staging and Costs
Home staging can happen in different setups of a home. Even if you are still occupying your home, a home stager can stage your home brilliantly and make it ready for sale. Home stagers know how to make use of your home space regardless of its condition and simply transform it to a sale-ready home through a professional touch. Let’s look at different types of home staging and how much each will cost you to stage successfully.
One-Time Home Staging Consultation
We already mentioned this type of home staging in this guide. Technically, most home stagers are usually professional designers. They already know what to do to make your home appealing to appeal to your targeted clientele. They know what sells a house, where to position everything and what to use to showcase your home at its best and appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
For example, your home may require a bit of paint job or a different type a carpet might do the trick. You might need to do some changes on your landscaping to improve the curb appeal. A home stager will assess your home, and they will be in a position to point out the changes that need to be done to change the current set up of your home.
They will suggest the type of lighting fixtures you should install and their location in your home, decluttering ideas, paint colors, the type of carpet or flooring, accessories, landscaping improvements, repairs, and renovations. A one-time home staging consultation should cost you about $150-$600, and usually, it takes about two hours. This is about $75 to $200 per hour on consultation. The consultation can either be verbal or written.
|Size of the home in square foot||Average cost|
|Below 1000 sq. ft. to 2000sq.ft||$200 - $600|
|2000sq.ft. to 2500sq.ft||$250 - $750|
|2500sq.ft - 3000sq.ft||$250 - $800|
|3000sq.ft - 3500sq.ft||$300 - $350|
|3500sqft - 4500sq.ft||$350 - $900|
|4500 sq. ft - 5500 sq. ft||$350 - $1500|
Cost of staging an occupied home
Once you get recommendations on what needs to be done, you can choose to do it yourself. But if you feel the work is too much, or you want a professional touch, you can hire a professional home stager. Staging an occupied home usually involves decluttering the home and rearranging what you already have. The stager may reposition your furniture, accessories, and move some of your stuff to create and enhance the space you have. The idea is to show off the best features in your home and create a lasting impression; more of, a wow factor.
In some cases, the stager might have to bring in some rented items especially furniture to enhance the space further and de-personalize it. Of course, it will cost you more if the home stager has to add some of their own features. But, you will need to discuss this with your home stager beforehand.
Generally, staging an occupied home usually takes less time and may cost less as if you already have furnishings and other essential home feature. But, generally, the home stager will declutter the space, clean, fix small repairs, clear the pathways, and fix small details to ensure they create a neutral tone. Typically, once a home stager comes to your home, the will see it from a different perspective from yours. Occupied home usually cost about $600 to $800 to professionally home stage.
Cost of Staging A Vacant House
You might have moved out of your house, probably to a different one and now you are ready to list it for sale. Most likely, you will have moved with your furniture and other items including accessories, which means the house is now empty.
Even if your house its among one of the best-designed houses, if it’s vacant, it will be hard to sell it. Remember, you need to entice your buyers, you need to give them something to think about. Most importantly, you need to make the home’s environment welcoming. An empty house is simply uninviting. You need to show a potential buyer the best features of the house; you need to create space, and you need to create a visual appeal.
Picture a real estate magazine with a house for sale photos. Which photos are more likely to capture your attention? An empty house photo or one whose rooms a well-furnished and accessorized? A staged house will make you want to explore the house further. It will make you picture yourself taking residence in that particular home. A staged house is simply welcoming. Empty houses are hard to envision. In fact, a vacant house may appear smaller, and they might not have a focal point which is usually the “wow” factor. With an empty house, a buyer will have a difficult time trying to fit their lifestyle into it.
For these reasons, it’s important to stage your empty house. Professional home stagers usually have their home supplies ready. While others use rental companies to get their furniture and other décor items for staging.
Depending on the target market, a professional can stage the home with a traditional style, or create a modern style, or go for a transitional setting, or decorate with rustic furnishings and decorations. The home stager will assess the architecture of the home, its design, and the targeted market demographics, and then they will stage the home accordingly.
If the professional has to rent some of the furnishings, the cost will be transferred to you to cater for the rental fees. Also, the cost of staging will factor in transportation costs. The home stager might need to hire movers to transport furniture which includes coaches, beds, beddings, dinner tables, chairs, and other home staging items. Basically, staging an empty house is like moving into a new house. You will need to fill space and rooms and create a real home. Therefore, an empty house becomes one of the priciest home staging services.
If you are working on a budget, you can work with partial staging. But generally, if you have a vacant home, its best to stage every room to make the house more appealing and stand a better chance for a quick sale. A 2000sq.ft home will cost you an average cost of $2200 to stage and fully decorate each room. But generally, the cost range for staging a vacant house runs from $2000 to $9000. Here is a table showing the average costs of staging different vacant homes sizes based on square footage.
|Size of a home in square feet||Average staging cost|
|1000sq.ft and below||$2000 - $3500|
|1000sq.ft - 2000sq.ft||$2200 - $5000|
|2000sq.ft - 3000sq.ft||$2400 - $6000|
|3500sq.ft - 4500sq.ft||$4000 - $7500|
|4500sqft - 5500sq.ft||$4500 - $9000|
Partial Home Staging Costs
Just as the name suggests, partial home staging involves staging some parts of the house in a bid to save money. Or you could be having outdated furniture, but the rest of the décor is up-to-date. In such a scenerio, the home stager will only add furniture, and do some little work to enhance the rest of the features. Or you might choose to stage the main rooms only such as the living room, the master bedroom, the dining room, and the kitchen.
Or, you might be having oversized sofas which might be occupying too much space in the living room. In this case, the home stager will bring in smaller sofas to enhance the space and create an illusion of a bigger space. You could be having an extra room that you use as a study room. If you are listing your home, you might need to stage this particular room and make it look like an additional bedroom. Thus, you will need a home stager to bring in a bed and bedroom accessories to stage the room. Or you could be having empty rooms in your home that need to be filled up to look functional. You will need a home stager to assess the rooms and dress them accordingly. The professional will bring in some decorative items like throw in pillows and a carpet and spruce up the rooms.
Whichever scenario you have, partial staging may not cost you a lot of money as it would when you are staging a vacant house. For example, if you are staging a room of let’s say, 12×12 foot in size, expect to spend about $500 to $800.
You could be having the right furnishings and accessories for home staging, but you do not know how to showcase your house to look at its bests. You can hire a home stage for consultation and do a fluff staging. Here, the professional might rearrange the furniture to make sure they highlight your home’s best features. They might also hang your art differently to enhance the appearance of your room. In some instances, you could be having the right accessories, but you have mismatched everything. A professional will place everything in the right place to bring out the best out of what you have.
In fluff staging, you can save a lot of money since the home stager only needs to rearrange the stuff you already have. You are not adding anything or renting expensive furniture. You already have what it takes to stage a home successfully, and all you need is for everything to be in the right place to capture the interest of a would-be home buyer. For fluff staging, you can pay a professional home stager by the hourly rate to redesign your home. Hourly rate rates start from$75 to $200.
Full Home Staging and Renovation
If you are moving out of your home, you will need to do some major upgrades to it before you list it for sale. In this case, you not only need the services of a home stager and but also, other contractors to prepare the home fully.
You can hire an experienced home stager who will assess your home and point areas in your that require renovation. Most stagers will work in conjunction with contractors. They will supervise the renovations and make sure the home is updated and staged to suit the needs of the targeted market. The stager will make sure the contractors carry out their work quickly, and they will probably work with them at an affordable cost.
Does your home have outdated kitchen cabinets, or worn out countertops? Are your light fixtures outdated? Or do your home’s hardwood floors need refinishing? Your home stager will work with the contractors to give your home a facelift. After the renovation, they will stage it, and it will be ready for listing.
Let’s look at the cost of the common home improvement enhancement associated with home staging.
When you are preparing you for sale, one of the most effective way to enhance it is through painting. Painting gives your home a fresh look and can drastically change the appearance of your home. If you want to give your home a clean look to ensure a successful home staging, then painting will do the trick. When painting in readiness for home staging, you should go for neutral paint colors that will give your home a warm hue. A uniform color throughout your home can effectively make your home space appear larger and even better, it will save you a bit of time.
If you don’t have a busy schedule, you can take the painting task yourself. Depending on your location, the type of paint you choose (oil, glossy, glaze, etc.) and the brand, a gallon of paint can cost anywhere between $10-$35. And a gallon usually covers around 350 to 400 square feet on a smooth wall surface, and rough surfaces typically require less paint. But if you chose to DIY, you also need to factor in the cost of painting supplies which include paint brushes, rollers, ladders, painter’s masking tape, drop clothes, etc.
The other alternative is to hire a professional for the paint job especially when you consider the cost of the painting supplies and the time needed to complete the job. Professional painters charge an average cost of $0.50 to 1.70 per square foot of wall surface. Thus, you should expect to spend anywhere between $700 to $1090 for repainting the living room. But the cost can vary greatly depending on the size of the room and the height.
Lighting is another home staging aspect that can change the appearance of your home and create a welcoming mood. Lighting can make a house look so warm and inviting. That said, most homes have the wrong lighting, and as a homeowner, you might not be aware that your home is improperly lighted.
A professional home stager can easily point this out and suggest solutions to the lighting problem depending on the architecture of your home. They can choose to change the wattage, upgrade the lighting fixtures and add the number of lighting fixtures in a room. But generally, lighting changes a room and can affect the way a particular room looks. The cost of upgrading lighting throughout your home can cost you anywhere between $200 to $750 depending on the size of your home and the number of lighting fixtures needed.
Refinishing and Repairs
Your home will require small cosmetic repairs such as refacing cabinets and the drawer fronts to create a clean and modern look for your kitchen. You may also need to replace cabinetry hardware and make your kitchen look new, fresh and upgraded. Other cosmetic repairs include fixing any loose tiles, plaster repairs, etc. You can hire a handyman to take care of the minor repairs in your home. A handyman will charge anywhere between $100-$300 for a minor repair project.
Even if you have the most beautiful home design with state-of-the-art furniture, if it’s dirty it will be a major put off to would-be buyers. Naturally, people do not like being associated with dirty things, and you certainly don’t want to create a dirty impression to a potential buyer. That’s why home stagers insist on cleanliness. Cleaning will involve dust removal, vacuuming, cleaning the exterior and the interior walls including the ceiling fans and all the rooms in the house. Cleaning services for a 2000sq.ft house can cost you anywhere from $900 to $1200.
Monthly Home Staging Service Charge
Once your home is staged, it may not sell right away. It’s true that staging a home can decrease its duration time in the market, but that doesn’t mean that it will sell within a day. You will need to continue paying for the items used in staging your home. Home stagers usually charge anywhere between $500-$700 per month for each room.
Therefore, if you have a 2000sq.ft home, fully staged, you should expect to spend $2000 to $2500 per month up to the time when you finally make a sale. But, even if you manage to sell your home a few days or a week after staging, you will still pay the home stager a full month home staging fee.
Movers: furniture and other heavy items required for home staging will require the services of movers to transfer them to your home for staging. Movers will do the heavy lifting and re-arrange the furniture as required especially if you have a multi-story home. Expect to spend about $0.50 to 1.20 per pound for movers to move staging items.
Curb appeal: you need to improve your curb appeal by tidying up your outdoor space including your yard. This will make your outdoor space look attractive and create a good impression the moment a potential buyer steps into your home. You can clean your outdoor space or hire someone for the cleaning.
Essential Home Staging Tips
If properly home staged, your home can sell quickly and even at a higher price than the asking price. But, selling a home comes with some challenges, and not just the physical move, but emotional challenge especially if you have fond memories of your home. It’s natural to get attached to your home even if you have already made up your mind to sell it anyway.
Therefore, it’s important to work with a home stager to give your home a professional touch and a different perspective that will appeal to customers or use the following tips for a successful home staging.
✓ To create an illusion of space, you should move your furniture a distance away from the wall
✓ Lighting is important. Ensure that all the light fixtures are working and the sockets are equipped with light bulbs
✓ Ensure that your home is sparkling clean
✓ Declutter your entire home
✓ Package your home to a product that can easily entice buyers. For example, you should consider having fresh flowers regularly, or you can add mirrors, table lamps, and houseplants, beddings, throw in pillows, rugs, etc. to create a homely look
✓ Ensure that all the rooms are painted to give your home a fresh look
✓ Ensure that your home is well lit to ensure that buyers can see every part of your home
✓ Forget about your personal style and detach all the fond memories you have about your house and picture your home as a product. This way, you will easily let the home stager work on your house
✓ If your home is still occupied, you should remove the family photos. Buyers might have a hard time personalizing the house if it has pictures of another family. The idea is to make the buyer envision the house as theirs
Selling a home can be exhausting and challenging. It’s an extremely competitive journey. If you are serious about making a quick home sale, you need to make your home stand out and appeal to would-be buyers. A staged home is more likely to sell 6 % higher than the asking price, and its likely to spend about 73% less time out there on the market. These and many other home staging statistics speak volumes. Home staging is an effective strategy that will help you attract and capture potential home buyer’s interest. Its psychological approach of making potential buyers envision themselves as residents of your home.
Home staging simply involves decorating and furnishing your home to create a neutral tone that will appeal to customers. Depending on the state of your home, you can do a partial staging, a full staging or home staging consultation for DIY staging. Whichever the case, you have to make sure that the home is decluttered, cleaned, painted and renovated. A home stager will help you showcase your homes best quality and make sure that it appeals to the right market.