Is Home Staging Worth It? When to Spend vs. Save

By Lindsay Stefan

Posted on June 24th, 2022

Turquoise chair, bar cart, and other decorative items

When prospective buyers walk into your home, the first impression is critical.

When your property looks comfortable, clean and well-organized, buyers can easily picture themselves in your home.

By contrast, a dark, cluttered, or dirty home may drive prospective buyers away. After all, if buyers feel uncomfortable during an open house or walk through, it's unlikely they'll feel motivated to make an offer.

Home staging is a potential solution, but it does come at a cost — so read on to decide whether the process is worth it for your next home sale!

What Is Home Staging?

Home staging is a specialized service that gets your home picture perfect and market-ready. A professional stager can help you declutter and decorate so your home will feel light and bright.

Staging is helpful because it's hard for prospective buyers to envision a different set-up and design. A garish paint color or a heap of clutter can make buyers want to flee, without even considering your home.

By working with a professional stager, you'll get expert advice about how to showcase your home's best features. A stager will help you arrange furniture, and many are even able to temporarily loan you pillows, fake plants, or other decor items.

In theory, this can help you sell faster and for a better price.

Pros and Cons of Professional Home Staging

Pros:

  • Staging may help you attract prospective buyers
  • You might receive an offer faster, or receive multiple offers
  • Some real estate agents include home staging in their marketing services

Cons:

  • There isn't definitive evidence that home staging directly impacts sales
  • Home staging costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars

How Much Does Staging a House Cost?

On average, professional home staging costs around $1,600, according to 2022 data from HomeAdvisor.

However, the exact cost ranges from as low as $745 all the way up to more than $2,600.

The price you pay depends on several important factors:

  • Your geographic area
  • The number of rooms you plan to stage
  • Your staging goals
  • The stager’s hourly or project rates

Certain factors may help reduce the actual rates, such as using your own furniture or only staging specific rooms such as the living room.

Who Pays for Staging a House?

The honest answer is, it depends. Some real estate agents include staging in their services, while others do not.

If your real estate agent provides home staging, the cost will generally be covered by their commission fee. Seller's agent commission traditionally covers marketing costs, such as signage, brochures, or photography — so it may apply to staging as well.

If your agent doesn't provide staging services as part of their package, you'll have to pay for home staging yourself.

If you're looking for a real estate agent, our friends at Clever Real Estate can help! Clever's free, no-obligation agent matching service introduces you to top-rated agents near you.

It's a great way to start your real estate journey — you can interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit.

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Tips for Staging a House on a Budget

If you can't afford a full professional staging, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to explore.

For example, you can request a consultation where a stager comes to your home and gives you ideas on how to optimize your space, but leaves the labor to you.

Browsing Pinterest, home design magazines, blogs, and YouTube channels can also provide a wealth of inspiration.

Inviting friends or family to suggest new furniture arrangements may also give you ideas to freshen up your space. You might even be able to temporarily borrow decor or furniture, and family and friends may be willing to store a few boxes for you to cut down on clutter.

You could also choose to vacate the house prior to showing it — that way, it's a blank canvas, and there's nothing to stage.

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Posted in Preparing to Sell Your Home, Selling a House