Is Staging Your Home Worth The Cost?

Published under Sellers

A home for sale that is staged can really shine. A clean, well-maintained home with attractive furnishings that is available to be seen virtually at any time gives it a leg up against other homes. But there are potential drawbacks to staging. Staging a home can cost thousands of dollars, and there’s always the question whether the investment is truly worth it.

On average, a moderate-to-high priced residential property will sell in less than 40 days if a professional staging procedure has been completed. There are exceptions of course, and these include homes that are located in highly desirable neighborhoods or are less than five years old.

The first step in evaluating whether or not to stage your home is to access its condition and your living and financial situation. If the home is vacant and unfurnished, this may be the most ideal time to stage as furnishings can give a home much more appeal and sense of place.


Keeping Costs Down

Obtain quotes from several staging companies and compare prices. The more work your home needs, the higher the home staging cost. If you can do some of the work yourself, such as washing the windows, cleaning the tile, or other house cleaning, you can reduce your staging costs.

Typically a staging company may charge between $200 to $500 to come out to your home for a consultation. At the consult, they may perform about an hour long walk-through in which they complete a document that will propose room by room what is needed to prepare the home for sale. While this amount of money is not insignificant, it can help you make a more informed decision about whether staging is right for you and provide a guideline to help you understand what is required to stage your home.

Staging Costs

When your home is staged, you want it in top condition, free of dirt, cracks, or fading. Service providers can perform a walk-through of the property and make note of anything that looks in need of repair or cleaning. Of course, they will not insist that all items listed be taken care of in order for them to sign a cleaning and repair contract. That decision is left to the homeowner.

Broken fixtures, cracked mirrors, dirty windows, and faded floor tiles are just a few of the things a professional staging crew will be able to repair. The price quote can help the homeowner decide which services they would like performed. Staging is not renovating – it’s simply putting a home in good repair, ready to shine for sale.

On average, a $250,000 home can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 for a full home staging, which can include the cleaning and repair/maintenance work to get it. In addition to furniture, items included in a staging may include: mirrors, lamps, bed and bath linens, and window treatments.

When a home is vacant, costs can rise several thousand dollars as more furnishings are needed. The costs of actual staging can vary significantly depending on the amount of cleaning and repair he home needs and how many furnishings and accessories are requested.


The Pros of Staging

The cost of staging can be quite reasonable when viewed in light of the anticipated higher sales price the home can command. Those property owners who invest the $5,000 to have their home made ready for viewing are likely to nab a buyer quicker. On the other hand, the homeowner who does not have their home staged and made ready for viewing will likely not sell as quickly. As a home lingers on the market, it can necessitate a drop in the sales price.

For example, if a home goes on the market for $250,000 and doesn’t sell in a month, reducing the home price to $225,000 may be a real consideration. If that same home is staged and sells quickly, that’s an extra $20,000 on the sales price making it well worth the staging cost! This is in addition to other negative factors of a home remaining on the market, such as the stress and uncertainty of when a home will sell and at what price.

The Potential Perils of Staging

There’s always the risk that a home won’t command an anticipated sales price even with staging. Staging also requires more out-of-pocket expenses and homes that do not sell as quickly can put a homeowner in a financial bind. This is compounded by the fact that as a home remains on the market, typically prices need to be dropped for it to sell.

Making the Decision

The decision on whether or not to stage your home for sale should be made carefully. Despite the potential gains in a home sales price, staging is not for every seller. Each situation and factors such as the usage of the home, availability of funds to pay for staging, and anticipated return on investment should all be strongly considered. Ultimately the seller has to decide whether the potential benefits of staging outweigh any drawbacks.

Current economic factors must be taken into consideration as well as the saturation of the new home market in the region. That is what makes a market analysis so important. In many cases, staging a home is worth the investment because it can help accelerate the sales process and command a higher price for the home, at or above the appraised value of the property.

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