When people think of home staging, they usually react in one of two ways. Either they would never sell a house without it, or they think it's unnecessary. Known for its hefty price tag, it is no surprise that so many people think home staging is not an option for them. What some might not know is that usually the price of a home staging ends up being paid back by its ability to sell homes fast and for more money.

If you’re still deciding on whether to stage your home or not, this in-depth guide to staging homes will take you through everything you need to know to make your decision.  

What is Home Staging? 

An oval coffee table topped with various decor pieces sits in the middle of the living room. Filled with two wooden chairs, overlapping rugs, and a fireplace, the living room is light-colored and airy.
Still from Skillshare Class Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design by Emily Henderson This space might make you want to snuggle up with a blanket and never leave.

Like most creative projects, home staging exists on a spectrum. When staging a home at the most basic level, home staging experts will usually just declutter, depersonalize, and reorganize in order to prepare a home to be sold. This usually means removing most family photos and any peculiar decor. At its core, home staging is just getting your home in its most basic, clean state.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have a total overhaul. This can mean repainting, replacing tiles, wallpaper, and doorknobs, and completely refurnishing the home. In this case, a professional home stager with a warehouse of goods will recreate your space to their expert taste.  

Why Stage a Home for Sale

The main reason people decide to stage their home for sale is to save money and time in the long run. When you stage your home you aren’t just presenting a home, you’re presenting a lifestyle, a specific future, and an opportunity for potential sellers to create their home in your space. 

The Cost of Home Staging

Since home staging exists on a spectrum, so does its pricing. If you’re going to need to rent furniture, hire a professional designer, and redo certain elements of your home, the home staging process can cost as much as $20,000 for a large home. 

If you’re not going to be making any big changes, you can get your home staged for between $1,000 and $3,000 on average. If you decide to stage your own home, you can usually get away with spending between $500 and $1000. 

What to Know About Professional Home Staging Companies

If you live in a bigger city, there will likely be hundreds of different home staging companies with hundreds of different offerings. There are luxury home staging firms that you’ll usually find in more expensive cities where the home staging jobs can end up costing $20,000. There are also budget home staging firms where you can tap into the benefits of home staging without spending more than you’d like.

In general, you should choose home staging companies based on the selling price of your home. On average, home staging can increase your home value up to ten percent, but on average you’re looking at a one to five percent increase in your home value. By spending one to two percent of your home value on home staging, you are very likely to get your money back by selling it for a higher value. 

When going with a professional home staging company, you are more likely to see this increase in your home value. 

How to Stage Your Home

If you’re looking to go the DIY route, there are so many home staging ideas that can bring you some of the same benefits as professional home staging. 

Declutter and Depersonalize  

Start off by putting yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer. You might feel a strong connection to a certain family heirloom, but it’s likely your buyer will not. The goal in staging is to make your potential buyers feel like they could make this home their own. 

By creating a clean slate with touches of personality, the space won’t feel sterile or uninviting. You can do this by decluttering storage spaces, removing most of your family photos, and getting rid of any eclectic design choices. 

Expand and Clean Up Your Home

A round white coffee table is in the middle of a black and white living room. Filled with a couch, shelves, and two brown chairs, this space is clean and decorated throughout. 
Still from Skillshare Class Easy Interior Design: Create a Space for Function and Flow by Demetrius Robinson These floor to ceiling curtains help expand a smaller space.

Nobody wants to move into a cramped, dusty home. The more light and space you can add into your home the better. A crisp coat of paint can work wonders in giving your home that newly renovated look.. 

When looking to expand your home, try hanging floor to ceiling curtains, which will make your ceilings feel taller. Choosing lighter paint colors and adding mirrors can also give the illusion of a bigger space. Interior design lighting can also help enhance comfort and space. 

Update What You Can 

When potential new home owners are looking for a new home they are also looking for a fresh start. For those who aren’t looking for a fixer upper, outdated hardware, wallpaper, tiling, and flooring can turn off potential buyers. While doing some of these fixes requires some upfront investment, it can end up saving you money in the long run.

Sizing and Color Matters 

Along with home updates, renting furniture is one of the more expensive parts of staging a home for sale. Home staging furniture usually costs hundreds of dollars to rent a month, but it will still end up costing less than replacing all of your furniture.

Furniture can completely transform any home by making it more modern and welcoming. Big, dark pieces of furniture can make a room feel smaller so focus on light-colored, classic pieces that can appeal to a wide variety of people. Minimalist interior design works well in staged homes. 

Starting a Home Staging Business

As with any field, starting a home staging business means knowing your target audience, creating a point of contact like a website, and getting all your administrative ends tied in a bow. Once you have the basics down, creating your own home staging business usually starts with some sort of design experience or interior design training.

A lot of very successful designers started out by just using interior design trends in their own home, which is a great place to start. As you begin, try capturing before and afters in your own home or in the homes of connections you already have. 

The more you create and you share what you’re working on, the more potential clients you can find. Interior design is very popular on social media, especially Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok. So posting your work there can be a great way to get your business off the ground. 

Finding Home Staging Jobs

Two hands hold a phone to take a picture of a living space. On the phone screen, a living room with a fireplace, coffee table, and chair is visible from the phone camera lens.
Still from Skillshare Class Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design by Emily HendersonCapturing your space like it belongs in a magazine is great content for social media.

Creating your website, social media platforms, and registristing your business name can often feel easy in comparison to finding your first home staging job. Everyone starts somewhere so it’s okay to offer your first job for less expensive or in exchange for something else, like a certain number of referrals. 

By doing a great job on one home, your clients will be more likely to suggest your business to their friends and family. Also by sharing your process, behind the scenes, and updates on social media, a blog, or newsletter, you can also reach a wider audience of potential customers.  

Finding Home Staging Furniture

Finding the furniture and decor pieces you love is absolutely critical when learning how to start a home staging business. Luckily, there are a ton of local furniture warehouses as well as rental furniture options. Businesses like CORT and Oliver Space also offer rental furniture that can be used for home staging.   

Time to Stage Your Home!

Get out your notebook and tape measurer and get ready to dive into the world of home staging. Inspiration is all around you! Spend this week flipping through vintage magazines, walking in nature or perusing second hand furniture stores and see how you can get inspired for your next home staging project. Before you know it you’ll be staging just like the pros. 

Design Your Home Like a Pro 

Interior Design: Interior Decorate Like a Boss

Written By

Calli Zarpas

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