The Pros and Cons of Staging Your Home Yourself

Summary: As you get your house ready for sale, your to-do list can feel never-ending. And your knee-jerk reaction might be to offload many of those tasks onto a professional. But before you sign the home stager’s contract, think about the pros and cons of staging your home yourself.

Whether you’re a habitual DIYer or not, staging your home yourself could be the cheapest, fastest way to sell your house. Or it could be disastrous. There isn’t a single, perfect equation on how to stage your house that’s going to work for every situation, so we’ve put together this list of 3 pros and 3 cons to help you decide the right path.

The Pros to Staging Your Home Yourself

1 – It has the potential to save you thousands of dollars. Pricing for professional staging depends on your market and the size of your house, but generally speaking, it costs about $7,200 to stage a 2,000 square foot home. You’re paying for the stager’s time and their inventory (they usually keep an inventory of design elements they use). But this price doesn’t cover furniture rental if you happen to be selling an empty house. A lot of times professional stagers try to go for a certain look and if it’s not in-line with the items you already own, you could be asked to purchase things you wouldn’t otherwise.

But if you stage your home yourself, you can save money by only having a consultation (usually between $300 and $600) and working with what you currently own. Most likely, you will still need to make updates, but you can do them based on your budget and not the stager’s style.

Staging Tip – Most professional stagers copy the look they’ve seen in a model home for a new development. So if you have new housing in your area (whether an apartment or single family home), you can tour their space to get inspiration for what to do with yours. Be sure to take notes and pics while you walk through.[/tip]

2 – You have complete control of the updates you make.  A proto staging your own home is that you can choose whether to update everything or only engage the projects that will lead to the biggest increase in sale price. calculated the average costs for the most popular updates and renovations and compared them to the average value each adds to the house. Nationally, the top three updates that will give you the biggest bang for your buck are:

  • Replacing your garage door. On average, people recoup 98.3% of the cost in an increase in their sale price.
  • Replacing a portion of the house siding with manufactured stone veneer. This will update the exterior of your home and lead to an average increase of about $8,000, allowing you to recoup of 97.1% of the cost.
  • Replacing your wood entry door with a steel one.  Nationally, people were able to recoup 91.3% of the cost in an increase in sales price.

If you want information specific to your market, has data tailored to each region, so consumers can decide which are the most valuable updates for them.

3 – You’re more likely to reuse any new décor you buy for the purposes of staging. Because you have design control, you can purchase items that are more in-line with your personal taste than something the stager might have you buy. This is less wasteful in general and might cost you less in the long run because you can incorporate the staging décor into your new home.

The Cons of Staging Your Home Yourself

1 – It will likely take you a lot longer to stage your home yourself than it would a professional. An experienced home stager is on top of current trends and has likely worked with a space like yours before, so they already know what works and what doesn’t. In fact, as long as you have updated furniture and fixtures, and have added a coat of paint recently, their job could be done in a matter of hours. But unless you keep on top of current design trends and have a knack for layout, you’ll have to spend time researching how to stage your home and then you’ll have to do it. You might also lose time second-guessing your decisions because home staging isn’t your expertise.

Staging Tip – If you want expert advice but not the ongoing cost of professional staging, find a home stager who’s willing to give you a consultation without an ongoing contract. That way you get the benefit of their expertise while selectively executing their suggestions on your budget.[/tip]

2 – You are way too attached to your stuff to look at it objectively. When you’re selling your house, it’s no longer just your home — it’s a product on the market. But you’ve spent years creating that environment and it could be difficult to let go of the personal touches that make it yours. Unfortunately, buyers want to see a fresh space in which they can envision themselves, and if your home looks too much like you, they won’t be able to do that.

A professional home stager is a neutral third party who will approach your space as if it is a product they are partially responsible for selling. They will quickly and without emotion tell you which items need to go, which can stay, and what you need to buy. You can try asking friends and family for this advice, but they’re much less likely, to be honest for fear of hurting your feelings.

3 – You run the risk of over-staging. Again, because you aren’t a professional, it’s harder to know when the staging process is done. How many knick-knacks does your bookcase need? Is the living room too fussy? A home stager knows how to add the right amount of details to give the room a homey feel, but a novice runs the risk of over-staging the room with clutter that will only serve to distract potential buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 49% of buyer’s agents said that a home’s staging had an effect on whether or not their clients purchased the property. So you want to get it right. If you have the time and a knack for layout and design, staging your home could be a cost-effective solution and even fun! But if this is not an area of interest, you might be better served if you call in a professional.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article on The Pros and Cons of Staging Your Home Yourself.I f you are ready to take the FSBO route selling your home, visit to list your house.

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