To Stage or Not To Stage

Twenty years ago staging a home prior to putting it on the market was not very common. Cleaning the house and hiding the litter box was enough. That has really changed. I think the biggest difference for this change is the Internet. 99% of buyers shop for their new home on line. Not only does staging your home dramatically improve the look of the house when people come to see it, but it makes the photos of the house really pop.

The National Association of Realtors did a study in which they surveyed Realtors who work with buyers and Realtors who work with sellers. 58% of Realtors think that a house will sell for more if it is staged. How much more varies. 29% believed a house would sell for 1-5% more. 21% believed a house would sell for 6-10% more. 3% felt it could sell for as much as 20% more.

Bear in mind that this still means that 42% did not give an opinion that it would sell for more.

My opinion is that the house still needs to be priced at market value. When you combine this with the staging the house will get lots of interest because the value will be so obvious. This can generate multiple offers and that is what will drive the price up. How far up? Easily 1-5%. More than that? Maybe.

What you don’t want to do is stage the house and expect to get more for it, and then price it above market value. Buyer’s are smart. They shop, they have aps, they are not likely to pay more than the property is worth, even if the staging makes the house look great. So when it comes to pricing, proceed with caution.

How much does it cost? According to, the initial consultation costs an average of $675. If you can do the staging with stuff you already own, then that would be it. Pretty cheap. If you are also needing furnishings the cost averages about $500-$600 a month for as long as it is needed in the house.

You don’t need to stage every room. The most important room is the living room, the family room, the kitchen/dining area, and the master bedroom. Beyond that, see what your budget can handle.

Last, staging is not a requirement. I still think decluttering and deep cleaning take the prize for the must do preparation for selling.

Please let Linda or I know if you need a reference for a staging company. We have our favorites and are happy to provide you with a list that will give you a good start.

As always, thanks for reading The Blotter,