When to Hire a Stager (& When to Save Your Money)

By Home Bay

Posted on September 22nd, 2016

The first impression a potential buyer gets when they walk into your home is critical. When your property looks comfortable, clean and well-organized, it helps potential buyers picture the potential of the space and encourages offers. A home stager can help you prepare your home pre-sale, but is it worth the cost?


Why Hire a Home Stager?

According to Investopedia only ten percent of potential buyers can picture a different set-up and design from the current furniture in the space when walking through a door. By working with a professional stager, you can bring in an expert opinion to help you improve your space, impress buyers, bring in more offers and theoretically, sell for a higher price.

What does it cost?

Stagers use several factors to set their actual rates, but the average cost of working with a stager is roughly $1,800 to $5,000 according to Kiplinger. A few key factors that impact the cost of staging include:

  • 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. Estimating your costs will help you identify when to consider alternative solutions.

Weighing the Costs and Benefits:

While many have evaluated whether or not staging really brings in more money at closing, there is no real consensus. Some articles argue that it pays off every time while other say the difference is either nominal or nonexistent. Regardless of what others say, it can make more sense to opt not to stage if you’re on a tight budget and looking to maximize your return. But how to do you decide?

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend professional staging if you anticipate selling your home for $600,000 but generally encourage sellers listing for less to opt for DIY options.

Alternatives to Improve the Appearance of the Space

When the cost of a stager exceeds a reasonable rate, consider alternative options. 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.

To save even more cash, you can also go completely DIY. Check out this post for a few ideas on how to leverage what you already own to stage your space. Want to take it a step further? Read this post for a few expert ideas on small things you can do to impress potential buyers at showings.

Your third option is to vacate the house prior to showing it, so there’s nothing to stage.

Hiring a home stager improves the possibilities in your home, but only when the cost is reasonable for your situation and needs. Make sure you evaluate your options and make a decision that makes good financial sense.

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Posted in Home Staging