First, let me say this: Look at home staging as an investment. This will help lessen the sticker shock. Also, I can assure you that this investment is nearly always going to be less than the average price reduction in the list price, which according to Zillow is 2.9% of the list price. And in a cooler market, many home sellers may go through multiple price reductions before they find a buyer willing to put an offer.
The investment in home staging is nearly always
less than a list price reduction
As I'm writing this (summer of 2021), the market is crazy hot. But contrary to what many people believe, that's all the more reason to stage! Buyers are clamoring to submit their best offers on the homes that most appeal to them out of fear that another buyer will outbid them. I've been seeing buyers willing to pay as much as $200,000 or more over asking price (not on million-dollar homes... just median-priced homes!), and some buyers are even willing to write into their offers that they will still pay that much over list price even if the house doesn't appraise at the price they're offering. Some buyers are even willing to waive contingencies! It's mucho loco out there right now!
But most buyers aren't willing to go to these extremes unless they are really excited about the house. If it feels to them like they're having to settle for a house that only evokes a "meh" feeling from them, they may still submit an offer in a hot market (because they know there aren't many other choices out there), but it probably won't be their best offer. In other words, if you invest the money and effort into evoking a "wow" reaction from buyers rather than a "I-guess-this-house-will-have-to-do" reaction, it could make the difference between one or two offers with terms you're not crazy about, or an all-out bidding war between buyers willing to only stop short of offering you their first-born child.
Will your house sell in a super hot, on-fire market like this without staging? Probably... but why set the bar so low? By not staging, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to pull the maximum equity out of your home. Don't leave money on the closing table. If you're the homeowner, you will get a return on the investment in staging in the form of higher offers with better terms, all of which will result in more money in your pocket after closing. If you're a listing agent, consistently partnering with a quality, professional home staging company will elevate your brand and reputation. The better-than-average stats you'll accumulate will impress prospective clients during your listing presentations, and those stats, coupled with the gorgeous MLS photos that will populate your website and social media pages, will earn you more listings and fill your pipeline, meaning higher commissions and more of them.
So, moving on to the part you want to know: How much mula will you have to dish out... excuse me... invest to stage your home listing? Well, to give you a rough idea, 60% of members of the Real Estate Staging Association (aka RESA, of which Larimar Home Staging is a member) reported charging an average of 1.5% percent of the home's list price for vacant home staging, which resulted in a 15-25% ROI for their clients.
60% of members responding to the Real Estate Staging Association's 2020 "State of the Industry" survey reported a 15%-25% return on a 1.5% investment in their vacant home staging services
Following the 1.5% of list price model, the average cost to stage every room in a $450,000 house would be $6,750. Many clients opt for a lower-priced package that includes only the "key" rooms of the home (living, dining, kitchen and primary bed and bath). The price of that could be .5-1% of list, bringing their investment for staging down to about $4,500.
But these pricing models don't work in every market, or even for every home in the same market. So while .5-1% for partial staging and 1-1.5% for full staging is a good guideline for guess-timating the average investment in staging a home in the US or Canada, you may be quoted far lower or higher in your market for your particular listing. There are many variables that need to be taken into consideration, including but not limited to...
Good home staging isn't cheap, and cheap home staging isn't good.
Regardless of where you live, the industry-wide standard for services included in a staging agreement will be planning, delivery, styling, rental of the staging assets for up to xx days (the standard range is 30-90), and destaging (the term we in the industry use for returning the property to break down the stage, reload and restock the assets). Some staging companies will also include professional photography. Additional fees may be incurred for rush destaging (your stager will let you know the minimum number of days notice they'll need to avoid a rush fee), rescheduling fees, cancellation fees, replacement cost for missing or damaged staging assets, or to extend the agreement beyond the initial term.