Staging a House to Sell Could Equal a Higher Selling Price

by on April 5, 2012The Team

What if you could turn $209 into $1,990 just by cleaning your house? A recent study shows that a little over $200 spent cleaning and de-cluttering your home before putting it on the market will net you almost 10 times that much money in increased value. News like that kind of makes you want to break out the dust mop and furniture polish, doesn’t it?

staging a house to sellCleaning and removing clutter is the foundation of successfully staging a house to sell. No matter how much pretty stuff you move into the home, it won’t look attractive unless it’s sitting on a clean stage. Plus, homebuyers want a house they can immediately move into, not one that requires a cleaning crew to get it into shape.

What is Home Staging?

Staging a house to sell involves creating the very best first impression possible. As you know, curb appeal represents your home’s first impression from the street. Staging does the same for the interior of the home – it’s the sizzle when the buyer opens the front door and takes a step inside.

The aim of staging a house is to make it appear larger, brighter and more inviting. If done right, staging provides an atmosphere that appeals to many people and makes folks able to visualize living there. Home stagers are experts at showcasing the positive while camouflaging the negative aspects of a home’s interior.

The Costs and Benefits of Staging a House

How much does it cost to stage a house? Professional home staging services can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The good news is that $550 spent on staging can net another almost $2,000 in value.

Furthermore, staged houses sell quicker. According to Barb Schwarz, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, a home staged by an IAHSP member is on the market for an average of 29 days or less, compared to 145 days for non-staged homes.

Finally, staged homes typically sell for more money than those that aren’t staged. 63 percent of people polled by Maritz, a sales and marketing research company, claimed they will pay up to 63 percent more for a home they perceive to be turn-key.

The cost of having your house staged professionally depends on the size of the house and how extensive the staging, but plan on paying anywhere from $500 to $6,000. Before you scoff at the price, remember that an investment in staging your house may net you thousands more at the close of escrow and fewer days spent marketing the home.

How to Find a Home Stager

If you are interested in locating qualified home stagers for your home, first check with your real estate agent. She may deal with a preferred home stager who has proven her mettle. You can also consult the IAHSP for a list of affiliated home staging experts in your area. Be sure to ask the stager to supply you with a portfolio of past work and statistics on how much money her work netted for past clients.

While you set the stage for the home stager – cleaning and decluttering – keep in mind the results from a Duke University staging study that found that, according to professional stagers, the most important thing a seller can do is remove razors, used bars of soap, toothbrushes and other personal items from bathrooms. So, if you were wondering where to start, there you go.

7 Major Signs a Home is Staged Wrong

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Cook June 23, 2013 at 7:44 am

Great article however its important to realize that decluttering and cleaning is NOT staging. They are vital parts of the preparation process but staging is the final component which adds the WOW factor to a property. Many homeowners successfully stage their own homes but 99% of them require a home staging consultation from a professional first. This way they get a customized plan for their property – not a random list of things to do which may or may not add value – and the plan incorporates their furnishings, target buyer demographics etc into the overall plan.

Last – when looking for a pro stager, education is vital but equally important is talent, experience and overall results. Don’t just look for a stager who has taken a certain course – look for the most talented and qualified professional in your area. They may not be one and the same!


Marianasliving June 23, 2012 at 4:23 am

If you can’t afford to get a Home Stager, then do the work yourself. We can get a lot of ideas online now. Your post was very interesting because of its content. I had a great time reading your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. Keep posting.


Kat Becker April 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

First impressions DO count! Having your home ready is SO important. Thanks for the article.


James April 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

Great article. And I totally agree that staging a home can make a big difference to your selling price. The costs you mention in your article are a fraction of what home stagers in Australia charge. The average fee I’ve seen charged in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria are about $5,000! So the cost can very prohibitive for many sellers. The key point is you don’t need to ‘stage’ your home but you do need to pay attention to your home’s presentation


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