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Should You Pay for Home Staging Before You Sell?

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017


A well-staged home is attractive to potential buyers.


If all the world's a stage, you should stage your home, right? Staging your home means that you prepare it for sale by turning it into a home that will appeal to a large number of prospective purchasers. Should you pay to stage your home, and if so, what is the true value of staging your property for sale?

What Does Staging Look Like?

Staging isn't just about cleaning your home. It's about providing those who walk through the home with a feeling that it's right for them. Visitors don't want to have to stretch their imaginations to see themselves living in your home. If it's hard, they'll be turned off. If your home inspires them, they'll be much more likely to make an offer. Home staging can involve many elements, including:
  • Making your home move in ready. You might decide to change the paint color, refresh the front door, or add more landscaping to the front garden.

  • Adding and removing furniture from the home. It's easier for buyers to visualize themselves in a home when it has furniture in it, but if your furniture isn't staging-worthy, home staging companies can help by bringing in rental furniture.

  • Staging distinguishes your home from others on the block. If you live in a development where the houses have a similar layout, your home will benefit from staging to make it stand out above the rest.

  • Use home staging to attract potential buyers who see your home online. Today's home buyers start online to find the home of their dreams, so be sure to make a good first impression with your property.

If home sales are slow, having a beautiful, move in ready home can help distinguish your property from others and increase the purchase price.


A staging professional can help you pinpoint needed renovations and problem areas.


Should You Do It Yourself?

When it comes to staging your home, you can certainly do it yourself. However, there are also distinct advantages to working with a professional.
  • Staging professionals can help provide tips on minor renovations that will have an impact on your first impression. How can you increase curb appeal? What will your visitors notice when they walk in the door? Professionals know what works for your prospective buyers and what changes have the best payback.

  • They can pinpoint negative features of your home that you've forgotten about over time, such as the peeling paint on your bathroom ceiling. They'll note the most important features to fix so that your home makes an outstanding first impression.

  • Home staging professionals bring out the beauty of your property for sale. For example, they can give you tips on the best lighting to use to show off your home.

  • Staging professionals can also help you remove personal items and clutter from your home. It can be difficult to see the problem areas when you've been living with them for so long.

What Kind of Payback Do You Get From Home Staging?

According to Market Watch, depending on the property, "for about $3,500 to $4,500 a month, the home you're about to put on the market can be filled with great-looking furniture, well-considered accessories and tasteful art." Of course, if you have furniture in the home, the price can be lower: "if the home already has some furniture, you're looking at between $700 (in Iowa) and $4,800 (in California) a month for a two-month staging effort."

The payback you get will depend on the market in your area. If people are buying homes in your area quickly already, staging could lead to a more attractive home and an increased purchase price. If sales are slow, the benefit could be a faster sale as well. Staging can net you tens of thousands of dollars, but the increase you'll get depends in part on the price of homes in your area.

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