Pros and Cons of Staging a Home to Sell

Debating whether you should stage your home to sell? Here are the pros and cons.

When you sell your house, you may have thought about staging it and getting rid of your personal items. Clearing the clutter, including family photos and personal touches in your home helps buyers envision themselves living in it.

This is the reason staging is appealing — it gives the interior of the home a more polished look and modern feel. Also, data reveals that staging a home may help sell it faster. One report showed that staged homes sell within an average of six days, versus 48 days. A National Association of Realtors report said 47% of buyers agents believe staging has some impact on buyers while only 4% didn’t think it had any impact at all.

What does staging a house entail?

Depending on your budget and time, you may choose to hire a professional stager, who arranges furniture and decor, and adds unique touches to make the house feel lived in, clutter-free. A professional stager brings in modern furniture and sets up the bedrooms, dining space, backyard, and kitchen with items that may give a potential homebuyer ideas on how to utilize the space.

Staging a home is meant to evoke a certain feeling of how it would actually feel to live in the house and is a proven successful strategy when selling a home. It can be an important step in preparing you to sell your home.

What are pros of staging a house?

The biggest advantages are selling your home faster and for more. The International Association of Home Staging Professionals reports that homes sell for an average of 17 percent above asking price when professionally staged.

Another report revealed that every $100 invested in staging your home, yields a potential return of $400, which makes it a 4x return on your money.

Staging your home also makes the listing and photos more attractive to potential buyers. Your listing is the first way buyers see your house, so adding the wow factor with beautiful staging could increase interest and motivate them to see it in person.

A space that is designed to be appealing gives the potential buyer ideas for hosting future dinner parties, entertaining friends and family in the backyard, watching movies in the living room, and all of the other activities you’d do in a home. Bottom line, this helps motivate them to buy.

What are the cons of staging your house?

The biggest disadvantage would be the cost. Professional services for staging a home can be pricey, especially if your house is large and has a backyard to outfit as well.

The average cost of staging a house is around $300 to $600. However, costs vary depending on where you live, the square footage, and price of your home.

Professional stagers are similar to interior designers in that they may charge a design consultation fee, in addition to each room that is staged. Also, if your furniture is mismatched or worn out, you may need to rent furniture, which also comes with a monthly fee.

A real estate professional cited that a 2,000-square-foot home could cost roughly $2,000 to $2,400 a month to stage. Many professional home stagers require a three-month minimum staging contract, regardless of how quickly you sell your house. That could potentially bring up the cost to $7,200.

What’s included in a home staging service?

When you hire a professional home stager, this person will essentially take care of the following for you:

  • Decluttering the home
  • Maid service to deep clean the house
  • Paint touch ups where needed
  • Removing furniture and adding modern furniture and fixtures
  • Improving the gardening and yard area

If you’re in a hurry to sell your house, home staging may not work for you, since it takes time to remove furniture and clear out the house.

Lastly, if your house is full of stuff, hiding the clutter may not be an option. You may need to move your furniture and belongings into storage, which also takes time, effort, and money.

Should you leave the house empty?

A vacant house may not be as inviting as a house that’s decked out with matching, sleek furniture and good lighting, but there are a few benefits.

Benefits to leaving a house empty: An empty house means the sellers can move in right away. If the house is also in great condition and clean, the buyer may focus on the structure and design features rather than getting distracted by staged furniture and decor.

Disadvantage of leaving a house empty: A vacant house can be viewed as cold and uninviting. If the house is dirty or has cracks in the walls or ceiling, sellers may easily see it and may be turned off. The small dings may be more noticeable, simply because there isn’t anything else to cover it up or distract the eye from it.

Related: Cities With the Most Vacant Homes

To stage or not to stage?

The decision to stage your home, leave it as is, or have it sit vacant is up to you and your timeline and budget for moving. Many factors may sway your decision, including:

  • Current real estate market conditions
  • What other homes that are selling your area are doing
  • How much it will cost you to stage

If you’re okay with the cost and don’t mind removing your personal belongings, staging may be the best route for you.

The other option may be to simply declutter as best you can, touch up the home where necessary, and rearrange furniture to make certain spaces appear larger or more inviting.

Sell off-market with Sundae

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of staging, consider selling off-market with Sundae. There’s no repairs, cleanings, showings, or fees. We create a Property Profile of your home and advertise it to hundreds of vetted investors who compete to buy your house, so you get the highest price possible.

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Claire Tak

Claire Tak is a writer and content expert with a background in personal finance. She is an advocate for improving financial transparency and literacy through content and education. Claire's work has been featured and syndicated in Bloomberg, MarketWatch, GoBankingRates, and The Motley Fool. When she's not writing, you can find her on a snowboard, watching a movie, or traveling.