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Should You Hire a Professional Home Stager?

by Katy Byrom
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Home staging is the process of strategically decorating and placing furniture in a home you’re trying to sell to maximize space and showcase the home in the best light possible. The theory is that buyers have an easier time picturing themselves in a home that feels full of life than in one that is sitting empty. Staged homes also appear larger than vacant homes. According to a 2019 study by the National Association of Realtors, more than 83 percent of home buyers find it easier to visualize the property as their future home when it is staged. 

Key Takeaways
  • When selling your home in a competitive market, you may want to consider hiring a home stager to rearrange or add new furniture, declutter areas, recommend new paint colors, and help make your home look even more attractive to potential buyers. This can help your home spend less time on the market.
  • Your personal budget, timeline, and the current state of the real estate market are all important factors to consider when deciding whether to invest in a home stager. If you’re selling your home in a buyer’s market and can afford to spend roughly a thousand dollars, then it may be a good idea to stage your home.
  • Make sure you are working with a real estate agent who understands home staging. And when talking to potential home stagers, don’t be afraid to ask about their experience, whether they’re insured, and how long their homes typically remain on the market.

Here’s What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Home Stager

While staging may seem like an additional hassle and expense, the investment can pay off. Here’s a guide on what to expect if you hire a home stager, including the benefits, process, and reasons to hire a staging professional if you’re considering selling your home.

What Does a Home Stager Do?

A home stager gets your home ready to sell by making it more attractive to the largest number of potential buyers. Many home stagers have also worked as interior designers and use their knowledge about interiors to make your home look its very best. They may rearrange your existing furniture to optimize your home’s floor plan, remove furnishings and declutter key areas, recommend new paint colors, and even bring in stylish new furniture and accessories to make the home more appealing. This can help your home sell quicker and often for more money than the initial list price.

Who Should Hire a Home Stager?

When deciding whether to invest in home staging or not, consider your overall budget, timeline, and the current state of the local real estate market. 

You should hire a home stager if:

You’re not much of a decorator.

If you have a knack for interior design, you may be able to stage the home yourself, especially if you already own high-quality furniture and décor. But if you’re not a natural born decorator, it may be worth paying a professional.

It’s a buyer’s market.

A buyer’s market means there is more supply than demand. Buyers can afford to be picky, you you’ll need to do everything you can to make your home stand out. The home staging cost can be high, depending on the scope of work, but if the alternative is staying on the market for an extended amount of time, it might be worth it in the end. 

You have odd rooms.

Some homes don’t have the best flow or rooms that are small. They may be perfectly functional, but it can be hard for potential buyers to imagine using the space. In this case, the home staging cost may be a smart investment since you can show off how functional those rooms really are.

You might not need a home stager if:

It’s a seller’s market.

In a seller’s market there are more people wanting to buy a home than there are available homes for sale. The hotter your local market, the more likely you are to receive multiple offers, and some may even be above asking price. In this type of market, the home staging cost is not typically worthwhile since the house will likely sell fast without it.

You need to sell fast.

If you want to get out as soon as the home sells, home staging may not make sense. It takes time to stage a house properly, and then additional time to remove everything once it sells. In this case, it may be better to do a few quick things to boost the outside of your home and the curb appeal, and then move on.

You’re on a budget.

When it comes to professional home staging, the cost is a major consideration. If you’re on a budget, you may not want or be able to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month until your home sells. Try staging a few key rooms yourself, such as the living room and bathrooms, or sell the house vacant. 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Home Stager?

According to HomeAdvisor, the typical range for home staging costs in 2021 are between $635 and $2,295, with the national average at $1,415. Of course, there are many variables to consider that may bring those numbers up. The fee process for home staging may start with an initial consultation fee that can range from $150 to $600.

Other professional services, such as cleaning, painting, and refinishing surfaces, will increase the price if you tack them on to the home staging service. It’s important to keep in mind that staging a vacant home will always be more expensive than staging an occupied home because unoccupied homes require the stager to bring in all the furniture and decor to make the home look lived in.

Questions You Should Ask Before You Hire a Home Stager

Hiring a home stager is a big commitment, so it’s important to choose a reputable company. You should reach out to several different home staging companies and make sure to ask lots of questions, so you know they’re the right fit for you. Here are a few questions to ask potential home stagers:

What do you charge?

Average rates vary by market, so look for a home stager whose rates are locally competitive.

Are you accredited?

Accreditation isn’t essential, but it will give you some peace of mind.

What types of homes do you have experience staging?

Most home stagers specialize in one or two home types. If you’re selling a starter home, avoid stagers who typically stage luxury homes, and vice versa.

How long do your homes generally remain on the market?

This can help you determine whether the stager is good at getting homes sold.

Are you insured?

Moving furniture in and out of your home carries some risk. Make sure you won’t be left holding the bag for any damage.

Is Staging a Home for Sale Worth the Cost?

If you have the means, then yes, staging a home for sale is well worth the additional cost. Staged homes spend 33% to 50% less time on the market compared to non-staged homes and sell for 20% higher. This results in an extra 8 to 10% return compared to non-staged homes. 

Hire a Real Estate Agent Who Understands Home Staging

If you are uncertain whether you want to hire a home stager, then work with a real estate agent you trust. When you sell your home with REX, you will have a dedicated, experienced agent on your side. Together, you can talk through your options for getting the most value for your home, including whether it’s worth it to hire a professional home stager or prep your home to sell on your own. 

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