You’ve had your eyes on a new property, you’re taking that dream job in the next state over, or you’re ready for a change of scenery—either way, when it’s time to sell your home and find a potential buyer, you can expect your to-do list to substantially grow.
In your pre-sale preliminary research, you’ll likely discover that real estate experts recommend home staging, or preparing your home for showings using existing or new furniture pieces, decorations, and accouterments.
If you’re interested in staging, how much should you budget for the process? In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to consider about the costs of home staging—from your home’s size to the asking price, and more—and explain some of the pros and cons of staging. For tips on how to make your home look professional and welcoming to potential buyers, read up on staging a home for sale before you decide to put your home up for sale.
A home staging cost isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition
Numerous factors can impact the costs of home staging, including:
Where your home is located can also have an impact on your staging costs. For example, staging professionals in San Diego report that costs begin around $2,500, but may include up to 0.5% of the home’s asking price. Meanwhile, an expansive Beverly Hills home may cost as much as $30,000 or more to stage.
In the following sections, we’ll explore each of these characteristics in more detail, explaining how each can impact your price expectations and providing cost-saving tips related to each element.
But, as you read and imagine what your costs might look like, remember one crucial consideration—whether home staging will pay for itself.
Experts have determined that home staging can increase the number of offers and make your home easier to market. But, you still want to keep your costs as low as possible to achieve the highest possible ROI.
To aid this goal, keep your selling budget and other financial goals in mind as you navigate the staging process.
When you partner with a REALTOR®, they can connect you with a home staging professional that fits your budget, home type, and ideal sales timeline.
But, before your home stagers move any existing furniture, hang new art pieces or decor, or rearrange your bookshelves, they’ll likely perform an initial consultation. A consultation involves an assessment of your property and usually incurs a flat fee.
The consultation fee depends on your home size, the demand of your stager, and other factors, but you can keep your costs down after the consultation by:
h home will also demand different asking prices—and staging costs—based upon their age, features, and ideal home buyers.
Asking price can impact the price of home staging services in two ways:
The first point above is somewhat self-explanatory, but let’s expound upon the second. We can look at two comparable homes in the same suburb that are about to be staged for sale:
Due to its size alone, Property #2 is likely to hit the market for a higher asking price from prospective buyers.
While Property #1 could be staged with simple, space-saving, and affordable furniture and accessories that reflect its old-school vibe, Property #2 will likely demand larger (or more) furniture pieces and accessories that will attract a buyer in a higher tax bracket.
Furniture, accouterments, and art aren’t free—your staging costs will also be determined by how many elements your home stager will need to purchase to meet your staging goals.
To keep your costs down, you can use staging supplies that you already own. But, to provide an accurate estimate, professional stagers will consider both:
Let’s return to example Property #1 in the previous section. Imagine you’ve owned the home for five years, and you’ve collected furniture and art for every room. But, some of your furniture is secondhand or worn, and not all of your decorations match the space.
In this scenario, your stager can likely use some of your existing furnishings. But to build a high-quality stage, they’ll likely recommend renting additional, higher-quality pieces.
While we briefly touched upon home size in a previous section, your home’s layout can also impact your staging costs.
When budgeting for home staging, think about two elements of your home’s layout:
For example, imagine you live in a three-story townhouse, and the bonus room that you want to stage is on the top floor. In this case, your stager may have to hire additional hands to help move furniture and supplies up to the third floor.
In addition, if your home features an open floor plan, you’ll have to stage multiple conjoined spaces to maintain consistency.
Most stagers charge a monthly fee for staging. If this is true for the staging service you hire, you must pay your stager for each month that your staged home is on the market.
This monthly charge usually covers:
In addition, stagers’ contracts typically stipulate a minimum. For instance, even if your house sells on its first day on the market, you may be locked into the first three months of your staging fees.
One potential cost-saving measure is to hold off on professional staging until your home has been on the market for a while. If you’re not attracting the level of interest you expected after a set time, consider investing in staging to increase your prospects.
Like any other project, home staging can incur incidental costs—things you didn’t expect to pay for, but that could happen while your home is on the market.
Some examples include:
When you’re budgeting for the sale process, don’t forget to account for these incidental costs. While you can provide your stager or REALTOR® with a cap for incidentals to prevent overspending, you should plan to pay for incidentals that reach your maximum budget.
As you consider all of the elements above, you may wonder if staging is worth the expense. Depending on the extent of the work and your home’s characteristics, staging can be a substantial up-front cost when selling your home—but it can also provide significant benefits.
So, why should you consider the investment—and when might you want to forego it? Let’s explore some pros and cons of home staging.
Despite the costs, home staging certainly has its benefits. Consider the following pros you may experience when you work with a stager:
In many cases, the benefits of home staging outweigh the costs.
Home staging isn’t always sunshine and roses. Depending on your specific situation, you may experience some downsides to home staging if you opt for this route:
It’s important to consider these potential cons when weighing the benefits of home staging.
However, if you can spare the expense and you don’t mind sharing your space with a furniture rental while you purchase your next property, home staging can still be a good investment in your real estate sale.
There are numerous costs to consider before partnering with a professional home stager. But by harnessing your opportunities for cost savings, you can optimize your staging costs to profit as much as possible from your home sale.
Home staging is just one of many considerations you’ll have to make before you sell your home. For all these factors and more, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties can help.
Our team of top-tier REALTORS® is ready to help you sell, buy, stage, or even just explore your market options in California. After all, helping Californians navigate the real estate world is what we’re all about.
When you’re ready to make moves, California Properties is your real estate partner of choice.