Preliminary Consultation 
The plan typically begins with a preliminary consultation. Many home sellers have never used a professional home stager before, so the idea of someone coming into their personal home and “critiquing” is something they are usually not comfortable doing. The stager will spend a couple hours with the home seller, taking notes while going over the process, the budget, walking through the home and discussing and wants, needs, goals, and expectations. When the home seller decides to proceed, the stager selects the best furniture and accessories option that best fits the project.

Furniture Rental 
Sometimes the stager will use what the seller already has to transform the space but in some cases may recommend purchases or rentals to complete the look. Figure that for a 2,000 square feet house, it will take two to three hours to measure, draw up and plan the house. It will take another two to three hours at the furniture rental place picking out furniture. Furniture and accessories rental cost varies depending on the size of the house and term of rental. Some stagers offer shopping service and trade discounts to assist with this. 

Stagers may also pull from their our own inventory to save the home seller the high cost of furniture rental. That entails a couple hours photographing and inventoried the chosen furnishings that will be used. They are then wrapped and loaded onto a truck for delivery to the seller’s home where they are unloaded to be placed in their respective areas before being directed where each piece should go. 

Staging Day
The stager may spend almost a full day making dramatic transformation to the house. To ensure the home will be shown at its finest, each of the home’s main Living Areas will be edited and arranged to show off its best features and play down any trouble spots. 

When the home is sold, almost another full day is spent de-staging the house, re-wrapping and reloading all the furniture and accessories onto the truck. They are then transported back to storage, all pieces categorized and shelved for the next home staging and interior redesign.

Home Staging and Interior Redesign are closely related but the preparation strategy is very different. Home staging is preparing the home for buyers, whereas interior redesign is preparing the home for the current occupants. The heart of both good staging and redesign is the ability to use what is already in the home to transform the space. Creativity is the name of the game! 

Both strategies should incorporate an eye for future resale value and strong organizational skills. They both are small investment for potentially greater home sale earnings in the future. A keen understanding of exactly who the home is being prepared for and developing a plan and structure in place for that purpose is imperative. 

Bottom Line
The cost of home staging by a professional with proven track record and great referrals can ultimately save you money. The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) has a staging savings calculator on its site that lets you figure out how much time and money you could save in mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, other carrying cost, if you stage your home before listing it on the market. The average cost of a complete staging could be much less than your first price reduction so if staging helps you sell faster, it’s money well spent.