How Much Does Home Staging Cost?
Every day I receive phone calls or email inquiries “How much does home staging cost?” Every stager is a separate business and every stager has a different formula for determining the cost of their staging. Some stagers charge by the square foot, some stagers charge by room, some stagers charged based on what they’ve charged in the past for a similar house, some stagers do a deep dive into the exact expenses to do the job plus a design fee and profit %, and some do a combination of all of the above. Then there are inexperienced stagers who haven’t learned to price correctly, so they are wildly under or overpriced. The quality of their work will be reflected in their lack of experience. While there’s no hard and fast rules for how much a stager will charge for home staging, I’ll give you some information about some of the factors that go into a home staging estimate.
- Where is the house located?– this will determine cost factors like mileage on company vehicles and employee cars. This will also determine drive time to and from the house and whether or not that will put employees into overtime (at time and a half). IRS mileage is currently 62.5 cents per mile for employees. Gas and diesel for trucks is currently over $6/gallon in California
- How many square feet is the house?– We need to know how big the house is in order to get an accurate estimate on how much inventory we will need and how long it will take us to stage. Even if we aren’t staging every room, rooms in larger houses are larger than rooms in smaller houses and will therefore take longer to stage and require more inventory
- How many rooms and areas do you want staged? – Are you expecting areas like hallways, lofts, niches, etc. to be staged as well? What about patio areas? – Every additional furniture item we have to bring requires 1 or 2 people to pull it from the warehouse (depending on size), wrap it, load it on the truck, install it in the house. That adds to the expense
- When do you need it staged? – If you need it staged right away, the staging company has to jump through a lot of hoops to set up your staging. They may have to rent additional trucks, their team might have to work overtime hours to get everything ready. If the stager isn’t busy, this may not be a problem, but if you’re working with a stager that is busy, some of this might factor into the cost.
- What’s the approximate list price of the house? – I don’t know why, but some agents don’t like to give out this information. The stager needs to know so that they know what level of luxury they need to provide to give an accurate quote. A house with a higher list price will require more expensive, luxurious staging inventory. Less expensive inventory can be used for a house with a lower list price.
- How long do you want the initial staging contract to be? – The price will be different for 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. The expenses involve to stage a house for 30, 60 or 90 days is the same. It takes the same amount of labor, the same number of trucks, etc. The only factor that changes is the amount you are paying for the staging inventory (furniture and accessories) monthly rental.
- How difficult is access to the property? – Higher difficulty equals higher labor costs, because either the staging will take longer or we will need more people to complete the staging. For example, carrying furniture up a lot of stairs takes longer, so your staging cost will be higher. Having to use an elevator takes longer to move the furniture into the property, so your staging cost will be higher. A steep driveway may prevent us from bring our trucks close to the home, so your staging cost will be higher. Condos are always more expensive because elevators tack on extra labor hours. Interior or exterior stairs will also add to the cost.
In addition to the above, most stagers have a minimum staging charge. Less than that minimum and it’s not cost effective for us to do the job. In Los Angeles and Orange County, that minimum is usually $5,000-$6,000. The cost of running a staging business is very high here. Warehouse space is expensive. Labor is expensive. Gas is expensive. Insurance is expensive. Nice, current furniture, artwork and accessories are expensive (our costs for these items alone, mostly due to supply chain issues, have gone up 50% in the past year). Depending upon the 7 factors listed above, the sky’s the limit.
- Expect to spend at least $5,000-$6,000 MINIMUM for a 60 day staging contract. Typically most experienced and in-demand home stagers charge $3-$5 per square foot. Larger and more expensive homes cost more, sometimes much more.
- Expect to spend about 30% per each additional 30 days for contract extensions. For example, if you have a $6000 staging contract and your house doesn’t sell in the first 60 days, expect to pay about $2000 for each additional 30 days
- Factors that will affect your staging price: Location, Size, Area to Be Staged, List Price, Length of Initial Contract, Difficulty of Access.
- Patio furniture is as expensive, if not more expensive, than interior furniture. If you need a lot of patio furniture, expect your price to be higher.
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