Spend a Little and Make a Lot With Home Staging

Spend a Little and Make a Lot with Home Staging

Spend a little and make a lot with home staging? How does that work?

We all know if we want to make money, we have to invest some  to get started. Whether it is stocks, mutual funds, a home, or a business, we need to spend a little to make a lot. The key is to pick an investment that we can get a good return on for the price we pay for it.

Home Staging is a marketing tool for selling your home that uses decorating to show off a home’s best features while downplaying its flaws. Done right, staging creates an emotional connection between home and buyer, leading to a faster sale at maximum value.

As a professional home stager,  the first question I usually get from home sellers and Realtors is how much does home staging cost? 

A better question is “can home staging help me sell faster and for more”?  Home staging as an investment, rather than a cost. The investment will depend on the size of your home, if it is vacant or occupied, if the stager will do everything, or you will be doing some of the work.

Stagers charge a fee for a consultation and give an estimate (based on an hourly fee, or a flat fee) if additional time is needed. A monthly rental fee may apply for furniture and/or accessories.

On average, stagers charge $400-$700 for a consultation and about $125/hour for their time after that. Furniture and accessory rental costs vary based on what is needed to properly showcase your home. A stager should not be picked based on the lowest bid. You get what you pay for. Quality counts.

Various reports publish statistics on the benefits of home staging. Numbers may change over time with different reports, but statistics clearly show staged homes sell faster and for more.

I have found that home staging usually costs 0.5%-1% of the home’s value.  Considering it may increase the value a buyer may pay up to 20%, while also saving money on holding costs with a quicker sale, this is a pretty good investment!

Your results will depend on the quality of the home stager you hire, how well your realtor does of marketing your property, market conditions and you. Learn more in my article Why Your House Won’t Sell.

Let’s do the Math

If the median home price in your area is $350.000

1% increase is $3500

5% increase is $17,500

10% increase is $35,000

15% increase is $52,500

20% increase is $70,000

So what does this all mean? Lets look at a three examples.

1.  Make 1% More with Home Staging: Say you spend $3000 on home staging and only make a 1% increase ($3500) over the sale price of $35000.  You have paid back your home staging costs and made $500. You likely have also sold your house faster because it looks better than the competition. If you sell in a month, compared to three months for example, and your holding costs such as utilities, mortgage and taxes are $2000 a month, you have also saved yourself $4000.  Total increase or savings, $4500.

2.  Make 20% More with Home Staging: Say you spend $2000-$3000 on home staging and make a 20% increase ($70,000) on the sale.  You sell your house in a month instead of three months. You have paid back your home staging costs and made $72,000 plus your savings of $4000 in holding costs. Total increase or savings, $76,000

3. You choose not to invest in Home Staging:  You save the $2000-$3000 on home staging. You list your house for the average price of $350,000. If you are lucky and sell in a month at full asking price, your increase or savings would be $4000 on holding costs compared to not selling for three months.  This is still $500 less than had you staged and got a minimal 1% increase in the sales price as in scenario #1.  A more likely scenario is that your house does not sell in the first month because it will not outshine the competition, and your realtor recommends a price reduction of $5000 or more.  If your house is on the market for three months, and each month you go through another $5000 price reduction, at the end of the three months you have lost $15,000 from price reductions. You will also lose  $4000 in holding costs.  Total loss of $19,000.

In my experience, my average home selling client sells within a few days or weeks on the market and makes about 10% more.

My last client had 2 over-asking price offers in 24 hours, 15 offers in 3 days and sold for $30,000 over asking which was 10% over asking. She paid about $1500 for her staging and made $30,000 from it, at a profit of $28,500 for her investment.

Does Home Staging Work in Every Market?

You might think, well, it is a seller’s market. My home will sell fast. Home staging works in every type of market. Even in a seller’s market, there will always be homes that do not sell quickly. Staged homes generate more interest on the web and in person, by creating move-in ready homes that feel fresh, spacious, and up-to-date. All these conditions lead to higher offers, potential bidding wars, and greater profits for you.

What is the Bottom Line?

Staging always cost less than your first price reduction.

 An increased sales price of your home, faster closing, and reduced holding costs, will more than cover the staging investment.  Much of the staging cost can likely be written off on your taxes as advertising fee on the sale of the home.

Bottom line? Without home staging, you could lose 1-20% from your starting price as your house sits on the market compared to making 1-20% with home staging.

Home staging is a worthwhile investment with a potential return of nearly 300%. Selling faster will help you get paid faster, reduces your holding costs (mortgage, utilities. taxes etc.) while your home is on the market and makes the process a whole lot less stressful!

How Does Home Staging Work?

Now that you know how home staging can help, if you are interested in knowing how much it costs and how it works, check out this videol

Ready to Sell Fast and For More?

Get your online home staging consultation or staging service today. Click on the pictures to learn more. For in person consultations or staging, call for a custom quote.

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Spend a Little and Make a Lot with Home Staging

By Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.


  1. I LOVE how clearly you have laid out the money benefits here, Mary Ann. As you have so clearly outlined, it is throwing money away to try to sell without staging!

    1. Thank you, it is so true that your are throwing money away if you try to sell without staging. And why would anyone want to do that?

  2. This is such a clear post re: the financial benefits to hiring a home stager to stage your home before sale.

    I think the thing most sellers really don’t think about when considering staging is just how much better their home will look online, to potential buyers, when it’s staged, compared to comparable homes in the area.

    It’s just like an Airbnb > the Airbnb’s that look beautiful inside get leased first, and for more money.

    Every real estate agent should see this, as should every consumer thinking of selling their home.

    1. That is such a great point, and also a great reminder to have professional photos taken of your beautifully staged home. People will make up their mind in seconds whether to even come and look at your for-sale home based on the listing photos. A beautifully staged home and professional photos are critical for a fast and profitable sale….and to rent your AirBNB. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. The way you outline the math is a clear way to understand the true value of staging.

    1. Thank you Lisa, and those numbers really add up to make it a no brainer to stage when selling a home.

  4. I loved that you did ‘ the math’ for all of us to really showcase how important home staging is!

    1. Thanks Sheri, it really is worth it when you see how much staging can add to the final sales price!

  5. Staging is certaintly worth every penny! Its a no brainer when selling your home!

  6. I had no idea what the return on your investment was for staging. This is so easy to understand!

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