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How Much Should I Budget for Having My Home Professionally Staged?

By: Neil Bindelglass, Let Me Organize You

Home staging isn't as expensive as you might think! If you are preparing a home for sale in Saratoga, forget what you have seen about home staging on HGTV! The television shows that depict home staging often have very little to do with the real world practice of preparing your home for sale.

The first step to take is to make an impartial assessment of your home...

  • Is it furnished?
  • Does it look dated?
  • Is it cluttered?
  • Is it dirty?
  • Do the windows need a professional washing?

These things will have an impact on the cost of preparing the home for sale. As well, you will need to decide how much time you have to spend on doing the preparation yourself versus letting the home stager do the work for you. The more time that you can invest, the lower the dollar cost of the staging will cost.

Most professional home stagers are willing to do as much or as little of your home staging as you want. In the Saratoga and Albany areas, professional home stagers will do a consultation that should cost between $200 and $500, depending on the size of the home. They will come to your home, spend about an hour with you, and prepare a document that will guide you, room by room, through what you need to do to prepare your home for sale. Along with the consultation document, they will also give you a proposal of what it will cost for them (rather than you, the homeowner) to do the work.

If your budget does not allow a full staging, most professional home stagers will work with what you can afford. Rather than doing the staging for you, they will act as a consultant to your project and will visit you several times in order to guide you through the staging. This will substantially reducing the staging fee.

On average, a full soup-to-nuts home staging for an occupied house should cost between three and five thousand dollars. This will include incidental purchases (mirrors, accessories, bed and bath linen, and window treatments if and when absolutely necessary). This fee will include staging the inside and outside of the house. The average cost not only includes the stager's fee, but may also include a window washer, a professional cleaning service and incidental repairs. Home staging is not about renovating, but everything in the house must be in good repair.

If the house is unoccupied (whether it is new construction or simply vacant), the cost of the professional staging goes up to five to seven thousand dollars and includes the rental of furniture and accessories. Often, professional home stagers have their own inventory of home furnishings, or they outsource to high-end furniture rental companies.

Is It Worth It?

Many consumers ask themselves if having their home professionally staged is really worth the investment. When compared with the alternative of a reduction in your listing price and your home sitting on the market for months... it is certainly worth it!

Consider this:
The average professional home staging costs between three and five thousand dollars. Professionally staged homes sell in an average of 35 days (compared to 175 days for non-staged homes), according to StagedHomes.com. Most homeowners who are selling their home reduce the price of their home after about a month on the market, and the first price reduction is on the order of ten percent. So on a $200,000 home, the first price reduction is $20,000. If the home had been professionally staged for five thousand dollars and sold within its first month on the market, the homeowner would have been $15,000 in the black. Certainly a good return on investment!


Neil BindelglassNeil Bindelglass is a professional home stager in Saratoga Springs and owner of Let Me Organize You. He is an expert article contributer on the topics of Saratoga home staging and home organizing.

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