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What Is Home Staging And What Are Its Benefits?

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staged home for selling with a dinner table laid out and living room in the background

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Did you know that a professionally staged home spends 73% less time on the market? This is a huge difference if you’re in a hurry to sell your house.

But what is home staging? What makes it so useful? How much does it cost, and is that cost worthwhile at the end of the day?

We’re here to answer all of those questions and more. Read on to learn all about home staging.

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What is home staging?

Home staging is something homeowners, investors, or sellers do before they sell (or rent out) a home. It’s a way to make a home look lived in, but not too lived in. The goal is to show off the home’s potential. 

There are many different ways to stage a home. Generally speaking, you want to stage a home for your ideal buyers. For example, if you’re selling a single-family home in a neighborhood with good schools and playgrounds, you may stage it in a way that would appeal to families with young children. 

On the other hand, if you live in an area that’s popular for retirement, you may want to stage the home in such a way that it appeals to empty nesters and single older adults. 

Home staging isn’t a necessary part of selling a house, but it is a helpful one. In a market that isn’t super hot, staging a house can be the difference between a quick sale and a home that stays on the market for weeks (if not months). A staged home may even get a better price (more on that later).

Benefits of home staging

So why do people stage homes? There are a few reasons. 

First, staging helps buyers emotionally connect with a home. When a buyer sees a home looking like a home rather than an empty shell, the home becomes more appealing. They can see themself living there.

But what if you already have things in your home? Do you still need to stage it? It’s already “homey” enough, right?

Staging a home takes away personal touches to create a blank slate for the buyer. It also makes a home look neater and cleaner. The average lived-in home is far less tidy than a staged home.

Again, you can also stage a home for a specific buyer. If you don’t have children, but you know your potential buyers likely do, staging a home allows you to tweak your home for those potential buyers.

Staging a home also makes marketing the house easier online. A well-staged home looks great in photos, and those photos are generally the first impressions people will have of the home. 

Generally speaking, the benefits of staging a home outweigh the downsides if sellers have the time and money to do it effectively. 

Home staging options

There are several ways to stage a home (or rather, to have it staged for you). Here’s a brief overview of each option. 

Professional stagers

Professional stagers know all about what makes a home sellable. They will transform your home and turn it into something buyers will love to see. 

Often, professional stagers work together with real estate agents or property management companies rather than individual sellers, but individuals are welcome to use their services as well.

So what are home staging services?

Think of them like interior designers. They will create a vision for your home and coordinate everything you need to turn that vision into a reality. Note that they don’t do anything that you couldn’t, in theory, do on your own, but they can save you time and they already have connections with local furniture supply companies. 

You may be able to talk to the stagers about only staging certain rooms if you want to save money by doing some of the staging on your own. 

DIY home staging

DIY home staging is the most affordable option in theory, but it depends on how you do it.

When you choose to stage your home on your own, you’re taking a risk. That risk might pay off (after all, you won’t have to spend much money), or you may find yourself wasting time and money just to hire a professional later on.

If you’re DIY staging, you need to have some interior design know-how. Try to figure out what potential buyers want to see. Are you able to create that ideal space with your current belongings, or will you need to rent furniture?

If you can do it with what you have, that’s great! Tidy everything, make sure you’re keeping your home in pristine condition, and you can do showings in your space without removing your belongings.

If not, you’re going to have to rent furniture and decorations. While the DIY option is supposed to be the cheapest, this could end up costing you more money than you were ready to spend. 

For some easy DIY home staging ideas, start with cleaning and tidying. Rearrange your furniture to make each room flow more nicely and to make the home seem bigger.

Let more light into the home by opening windows and using mirrors to reflect light (this will also make the home look larger). 

Real estate agent home staging

If you’re working with a real estate agent, they may include taking in their services. Real estate home staging does cost money, but that’s because the real estate agent in general costs money

They may use virtual home staging instead of real home staging. What is virtual home staging? It’s home staging that’s done through digital art.

A graphic artist virtually adds furniture and decorations to photos of the home to create a realistic end result (and sometimes even a realistic virtual tour). They can even change the colors of the walls. 

This is helpful if you’re still living in the home because you don’t have to disrupt your life while it’s being staged. Virtual staging is also often more affordable.

How much does home staging cost? 

The cost of home staging depends on how you do it and how much goes into it.

If you’re DIY staging your home without buying any extra furniture or decorations, it’s going to be free. However, you do have a time cost to consider. If you end up renting furniture and decor, the cost will go up per item. 

If you hire a team of professional stagers, the cost may depend on the size of your home and the amount of work it will take. A small one-bedroom bungalow will cost far less to stage than a three-story six-bedroom home. 

If you’re working with your real estate agent, the cost may be factored into the fees that they’re already charging you. This will depend on the real estate agent, however. Some real estate agents may not offer home staging as a part of their services. 

Homeowners should expect to pay up to $7,500 on the higher end and several hundred on the lower end. It’s difficult to determine an exact number because there are so many variables. 

Is home staging worth it?

If you’re selling your home the old-fashioned way, staging it is worthwhile in most cases. A large percentage of staged homes received higher offers in 2023.

This is especially true if you don’t pay much for staging in the first place. If you choose to do mostly DIY staging fixes, the financial benefits are obvious (if you have the time to do so).

Staged homes also sell more quickly than non-staged homes. 

But what if you’re paying a lot of money for staging? Is it still worth it? In theory, yes, but if you’re in a tough market the ROI may not be as high as you’d hope. 

Spending thousands of dollars to stage a home will likely not be as worthwhile as spending a few hundred. 

If you’re in a hurry to sell, staging may also not be the best option. Yes, it significantly hastens the sale of the home, but it still takes time. There is a better alternative if you’re in a rush.

Consider a faster way to sell your house

So what is home staging? It’s redecorating a home to make it appeal to potential buyers. It’s a great way to increase the sale price of your home and quicken the selling process in general if you have time and money to spare.

If you’re in a rush, there’s a faster way to sell. 

At iBuyer.com, you can see what your house is worth immediately and even get a cash offer. If you’re ready to sell right now, this is your best option. 

Use our free home value estimator to get started today.

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