Home Staging - price to pay

Christy BellApril 5, 2013

I got a quote for staging our home for $1750 plus $750/month for rental furniture. Initial cost includes first months furniture rental, set-up, take down. They will be staging the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bed and bath. The home is about 1900 sq. ft. Does this seem like a lot of money? I know they are a good company and they are coming from about 40 miles away - we live out in the country. The home is currently vacant and wanted to stage before we put it on the market. Any thoughts?

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Christy Bell

I should also mention that the house will list at $499k.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:10AM
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In my experience, most staging companies take the selling price of the home into account when calculating what to charge you to stage it...which makes some sense considering that the furnishings need to match the value proposition of the home in question.

But I've seen a couple of different models out there:

-Flat up-front staging cost + % of the sale proceeds (usually 1%)
-% of sale proceeds + 'furnishing budget' of $1-$3K, but owner gets to keep some/all of the furnishings purchased (thus no rental) - This can be a good deal if you find someone who's tastes match your own, otherwise its a crap shoot. I've seen some staging contracts where stager will offer to buy back the furnishings from you for 50% of value....then they just use it on the next job.
-Flat fee + variable budget + ongoing rental...usually no % of proceeds of sale in this model

So many different ways to contract for this, you'd be well advised to get a few different quotes and pick the one that makes the most sense to you.

I've also seen a very high uptick in "staging for pictures" contracts, where your home is only staged for the MLS pictures that will be used. Then the home remains vacant thereafter. Personally, since I don't utilize OH's all that much but instead focus mainly on internet marketing, this is a fairly inexpensive alternative model. Just be prepared for some balking from your REA as they don't believe empty homes show well. They don't, actually.....to tire kickers. They do just fine to someone that is motivated to buy already, and those are the only buyers I'm interested in for the most part. YMMV of course.

I should note I buy/sell 3-4 house per year. No rehab, just an amateur flipper.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:28AM
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When we sold our house (about 4500 SF) we paid a mix of flat fee and hourly fee for staging. The hourly fee was when the stagers were helping us manage some work we were doing to get the house ready to sell (painting, carpet, new vanity, etc.) and they ran errands for us and picked up stuff from stores). I think the total ended up being about $2500. They did give us some furniture and decorative items to use while the house was on the market - the house was occupied so we had most of our furniture but they put a bed in a room that was vacant, loaned us some chairs, a seating group for a sunroom, a small table with a couple of chairs and some decorative stuff. They didn't charge any rental fee for any of that. I'm sure it would have been different if they were furnishing the entire house.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Adding $750/month to the cost of maintaining the house sounds like a lot of money, given that you have the option of listing it empty.

How quickly are houses selling in your area? If I were certain that in, say, 90 days the house would sell, then maybe I could stomach the price, but suppose it is on the market for six months? That's a lot of money out the window.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:06PM
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Our DD and SIL sold their 2 bedroom San Francisco condo with a view by using stagers. That allowed them to move out before the house was shown. They were told by all the realtors that they interviewed that in San Francisco you make the cost of the staging in your quicker sale at a higher price than if it were not staged. They found that to be true and sold their condo for more than the realtors thought possible.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:36AM
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I having been staging homes since 2007 and have found that 1% to 3% of the listing price is a reasonable amount to spend on home staging. The higher the % obviously, the more work that needs to be done. So with your home listing being at $499K, The 3 mos. rental furniture and cost to stage is $4000, which is $999, below 1%. If the company is credible, that is very reasonable. A lot of hard work goes into maintaining staging inventory and insurance, etc. So know that it is worth spending a good amount of money for someone to do it right the first time. All the homes I staged in March here in ATLANTA sold in March. The market is now a sellers market and you need the leverage. Happy Selling!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Pricing Strategy

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:29PM
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