Home staging is the real estate strategy of decorating your home to be as marketable as possible to your target demographic. Home staging is done by interior decorators and other design pros hired by the homeowner or realtor, prior to putting a house on the market. Think of it as setting the stage for potential buyers to fall more easily in love with their future homes — and to spend top dollar to get them. It’s likely to be worth the investment: The Real Estate Staging Association reports that staged homes spend 90 percent less time on the market than those that are not staged. Home stagers can also be hired even if you’re not going anywhere. Stagers can consult on new layouts for your current home, much like an interior decorator.
Home staging can take place while you still occupy the house you plan to sell, or when the home is vacant. For an occupied home, the home stager will clear out clutter, rearrange furniture, and bring in decor and furniture as needed to create the perfect environment. Usually an occupied home has far too much of the current owner’s personality stamped on it, which makes it hard for prospective buyers to envision themselves living there. A home stager should neutralize and beautify the space. In vacant homes, a home stager will bring in furniture and decor so that potential buyers don’t walk into an empty house, which can be equally hard to imagine living in as a cluttered, occupied home.
Nationally, the price for home staging ranges between $750 and $1,500. The price varies based on how many rooms in the house need staging, whether furniture and decor are needed or the stager can work with the client’s belongings, whether the home is occupied or vacant, and the sale price of the home. Occupied homes typically cost less to stage as they are already furnished, and can require less time and resources than staging an empty house. The main tasks when staging an occupied home are rearranging and decluttering. Staging an empty house can be more expensive as furniture and decor need to be trucked in, requiring transportation, physical labor and potential rental fees. Here are some examples of average home staging costs:
- 2-hour consultation: $200, includes DIY tips and guidance.
- 1- to 2-hour consultation and design session: $250, including written report.
- Additional design consulting: $65 per hour.
- 8 hours of staging an occupied home: $800.
- Hands-on staging involving moving furniture, hanging and moving art, and decluttering.
- Starting price for staging a vacant home could be $2,200.
- A home stager may charge 1 percent of the home’s selling price.