Home StagingWho Pays For Home Staging?

You’ve decided to put you home up for sale and are curious about using a home stager. First things first, who pays for professional home staging? This post will cover the scenarios when a realtor or a homeowner should pay for staging services.

Realtors Who Use Home Staging
How common is home staging? According to NAR’s 2019 report, 28% percent of sellers’ agents said they staged all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. 13% noted they only staged homes that are difficult to sell. This means that nearly 41% of seller’s agents may be using home staging as a marketing tool. If you’re not using staging, you’ll be less competitive in the marketplace.

Realtors who use staging may recommend a specific company or two, but it’s important that homeowners reach out to several staging local companies to see if their portfolio and personality are a good fit. Home owners can look online on search engines or visit RESA or IAHSP industry associations to get referrals of active members in the staging community. These home stagers often have home staging certifications.

Who Pays For Home Staging

Statistics from Copyright ©2019 “2019 Profile of Home Staging” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. All rights reserved.

What are the Home Staging Options?
My recommendation is to go with vacant staging whenever possible because it allows the entire home to display a unified and coordinated look. Even stylish households may still have disjointed looking rooms as furniture is often acquired over time and can have conflicting styles lending to a disconnected look. Vacant staging is the most expensive option and best for folks who are no longer occupying the residence. In most cases, the homeowner will cover this fee which can range from a few thousand or more depending on the house size and market. Generally many home stagers rent furniture for 30, 60 or 90 day periods depending on the local market. Don’t forget, home staging is often tax deductible.

For folks that want to use some or all of their furniture, occupied staging can make a huge difference in how the home is prepared for market. In these cases, competitive realtors may offer to cover at least the initial consultation which may range from $200-500. Note, it’s important that the homeowner has neutral and stain free furnishings to match the style of the house. Remember the more items a stager needs to bring will impact the price and may not always be less expensive than vacant jobs.

Why Would a Realtor Offer To Pay For a Staging Consultation?
Realtors have several motivations for wanting to stage their client’s listing. First it improves marketing listings and enhances the realtor’s portfolio. Next it allows the realtor the opportunity to be frank with their client’s without insulting or jeopardizing the relationship with the client. If the clients have a dated look, pet smells or overly cluttered space, many realtors will rely on the home stager to break the bad news thus preserving the client relationship. Further, offering to cover at least a staging consultation can be a way for the realtor to distinguish themselves from the competition by enhancing their service offering. When shopping for a realtor be sure to ask for their marketing plan which should include some form of home staging and prep recommendations.

When is the Best Time to Use Staging?
Staging is good for both hot and cool real estate markets. In cool markets, Google trends data suggests that home staging demand increased during the real estate crash of 2008. In hot markets, staging can help the home stand out to shorten the time on market and to generate above asking offers. Merchandising space is very important in sales. This is why clothing, grocery and other stores pay a lot of attention to how the space is organized.


I hope this article was helpful, let me know below in the comments if you have more questions.

If you’re still interested in learning more, download a 12 page research report that covers home staging costs in greater detail.

Sheila Fruge

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