Most people that want to sell their home quickly and at the highest price possible will decide to stage their home. However, as soon as that thought occurs, the question of “What is the average cost of staging a home?” also creeps in, possibly with a feeling of doubt. After all, they want to get a good offer and fast, but also don’t want to spend a huge amount unnecessarily.
That said, by getting a professional to stage a home, many sellers not only get a quick sale, they also get their money back via a higher offer. Presenting the house as a place that people want to live in, as a place they can imagine spending time with friends and family, is an excellent psychological selling technique. This is the reason why show homes always exist for housing projects.
As a REALTOR ®, staging a home can be an opportunity for extra income. You can stage it as a part of an overall package, or as an independent quote. However, you also need to be competitive and deliver a quality service in order to keep clients happy.
In this article, we will take a look at what house staging involves, how it can improve the chances of selling a property, and what kind of costs are going to be incurred during the process.
What is Home Staging and Why is it Needed?
Staging a home is basically a form of temporary interior design that is used to seduce potential buyers into parting with their hard earned cash.
A good stager will be able to highlight the features of a property and in a way that allows potential buyers to truly picture living there. It uses property sales techniques, psychological manipulation, and modern interior design.
Because of this, in most cases, staging shouldn’t be overly flashy. It should try to make the property feel spacious, comfortable, and modern. Where possible, it should also minimize the impact of design or property flaws.
The stager will normally include professional photography, which can help to grab the attention of those buyers searching online for their next home. This cost can be reduced if your REALTOR company has their own professional photographer.
If you are not sure about how staging is done, it is worth reading about home staging tips and the benefits of staging a property. By knowing the key areas and approaches yourself, you can quickly assess the quality of your stager and avoid client disappointments.
Is the Cost of Staging a Home Worth it?
While some clients may not get all their money back, most staged properties result in a faster sale. Staging a home may increase the sale value up to an extra 20% and make a home sell 88% faster. Depending on the property, this could even result in a nice profit for the client and your company from the increase in value.
This percentage range is from the results of a report by the National Association of REALTORS, where over 50% of REALTORS said they think that buyers pay more when a home is staged. The results are clear, a staged property sells far faster and often for more money.
What is Involved in Staging a Home?
Here we look at the steps involved in staging a home, from the initial interview to the final photos.
Consultation with a professional is the first step to staging a home. This part should be researched well, especially if you don’t already have a recommended contact. Most professional home stagers will normally charge a moderate fee, so you may not want to have many consultations.
The costs of staging could be quite high. It is important to discuss the fees involved, particularly if there is any minimum contract period. Many stagers will require a 3 month commitment, which means that the price needs to be paid by the client/REALTOR up front, or out of the property’s sale value, regardless of if the property sells instantly (not a terrible result though, if it does).
All Rooms or only Some? – If the budget is tight, or the property is large, you may want to discuss the option of only staging the most important rooms with your client and the stager. The stager should be able to give suggestions, and help to reduce the overall cost. Rooms such as the lounge, kitchen, and master bedroom may want to be included in this, to allow buyers to see the properties potential and what living their could really be like.
Repairs and refurbishing may be required, depending on the condition of the property. Staging will often involve painting the property, as a new coat of paint can work wonders. It is one of the oldest tricks to rejuvenating a building, and likely to be needed unless it was done quite recently. Realtors can of course use their own contractors or tradesmen to complete these tasks at affordable rates.
Furniture and decorations will be used to show off the property to the best of the stagers’ ability. If the client is still living in the property, or has furniture at the property, the stager should be able to use some of their existing furnishings to reduce costs. If the property is empty, all the furnishings will likely need to be rented until the property is sold. There may also be delivery fees on top of the rental fees, as depending on the property and location, this could involve a significant amount of transportation and labor.
Professional photos with good lighting and all the right angles will be needed to make the property look incredible. The difference between the original home, and a staged home can be quite amazing. These photographers are experts at catching the perfect images, hiding the bad, and highlighting the good.
Promotion will then start. As most stagers can assist with promotion, you will need to decide if this is to be handled in house, outsourced, or both. They could also be a part of your REALTORS’ package offered, and the aim is to attract as many buyers as possible. Techniques such as online marketing, social media marketing, and highlighting modern energy efficiency can all help.
What are the Average Costs of Staging a Home?
The total cost for staging a home will depend on a number of factors. If the home is vacant and empty, it is likely to cost more. It also depends on the number of rooms. Here are some of the average costs involved.
Consultation – The initial stager consultation is likely to cost between $150-$600, depending on the consultant and property size. This will likely take 1-3 hours. However, as a REALTOR, if you develop a good business relationship with the stager, future consultations can be discounted and prices set in an agreement.
Decoration – Decorating the home is likely to be required, and some repairs needed. Depending on the condition of the property, the cost will vary. However, normally the house will need to be painted, have new and updated lighting fitted, fix any damage in the house (such as plastering, tiling, treating or replacing woodwork etc.) and be professionally cleaned. Costs can vary depending on the property and if the owners can do this adequately themselves. Expect these works to cost anywhere between $500-$3000. However, in-house or contracted tradesmen can significantly reduce costs to REALTORS, especially as this means more ongoing work and profits for all parties.
Staging Process – Once the property is ready, it is time to stage it. If the house is empty, then a staging fee of anything between $1000-$10,000 will need to be paid. An average sized house without furniture can expect this cost to be around $5000. However, to reduce costs, REALTORS or owners can opt to have only the most important rooms staged. In that scenario, the cost is roughly $400-$700 per room. If the house is full of furniture, it may need a lot of the ‘not required’ items to be tidied or moved into storage, which can cost $200-$800 on average. Most staging costs will land in the $4000-$6000 range for an average house with furniture and 5-6 main rooms staged.
Furniture Rental – After the house is ready, there is then normally an ongoing rental fee until the property sells, or the for the agreed term (such as 3 months). This cost is roughly $500 per room, but can be higher depending on the level of furnishings used. So, for a 5-6 room house, you can expect to pay $2500-$3500 per month for the full furniture rental.
Labour – Additional labour may be required during the process. As a REALTOR, you likely have some contacts and so should get quotes regarding hiring a moving company, gardeners, exterior decorators etc.. Although staging is largely an internal property process, the property also needs to look good from outside – after all, first impressions matter.
Storage Costs – If you need to store any of the client’s belongings during the staging and sale period, expect it to roughly cost $100-$200 per month for a storage unit.
Photography – In some cases, you may need to pay for a professional photographer, but likely have one of your own either on staff of on call. Prices will range with the property size and number of photos you require of the client’s house.
Top Tips for Staging a Home
If you want to reduce costs for your company or client, here are a few tips on staging a home in cost effective ways. These updates could be made before getting a quote. However, do research to find out what is trending or timeless, especially in regards to colors and trims.
- Painting is one of the most cost effective ways to change the look of a property. However, when painting, try to look beyond only the wall colors. Consider painting the trims a different color, maybe give any fitted furniture a revamp, and look around for what else a little paint could improve.
- Cleaning is time consuming, but is an easy way to reduce home staging costs. Clean up the entire house, wash down walls, clean windows, whiten tile grout, and just make the house look spotless. If clients want to use their own furniture for staging, declutter the house and move some things into storage. This alone could easily reduce costs by $500-$1500.
- DIY (Do it Yourself) is a pretty popular hobby. If someone at your firm has a good level of DIY skills, then repairing small things like nail holes, scuffed wood, replacing light bulbs and fittings etc. can help a lot and reduce the need for contractors.
- Buy decorative and popular items for the property and consider keeping variations in storage for staging. This can include fixtures, back splashes, central features etc. By buying common items used to style properties, you can save money on furniture rental fees.
Are you still considering staging properties? If you are, don’t let the above fees put you off. Home staging normally results in a faster sale for a higher price. This is why it is so popular with REALTORS, as it makes selling easier and brings in more money. Client’s will be even keener to do this if you postpone staging fee payments until the property is sold. That way, it will hopefully be a win-win scenario for everyone involved in the sale process.