What Is Home Staging And How To Use It For A Speedy Sale

9 Min Read
Published Feb. 22, 2024
Written By
Sam Hawrylack
Staged remodeled white kitchen with floating bar and bar stools.

Home staging can set your house apart from others on the market, making it sell faster and for a higher price. If you wonder what home staging is or if it is worth the cost, keep reading to learn everything you must know.

What Is Home Staging?

Home staging is “setting the stage” for buyers. Think of it as displaying your house to create the best impression on home buyers. Home staging to sell a home may involve deep cleaning, decluttering, rearranging furniture, repainting, replacing flooring or adding certain aesthetic pieces to make the house more appealing.

Home staging can help speed up the selling process. When buyers can walk into a home and immediately envision themselves and their belongings in it, the house may sell faster. Potential buyers often want move-in-ready homes, so the first impression is the most important when selling your home.

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Benefits Of Home Staging To Sell

In a 2023 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) study, 81% of buyers’ real estate agents said home staging makes it much easier for buyers to visualize the property as their own. It also states that 27% of seller’s agents said home staging slightly decreases the time on the market, which can be helpful for houses that aren’t selling.

Here are some of the top benefits of home staging:

  • Creates a move-in-ready look: Buyers look for homes they can move into without many renovations or cleaning required. The easier it is for them to move in and start living, the faster homes sell.
  • Potential buyers can see themselves in the home: Decluttering and home staging allow buyers to view their belongings and family in the house, making it easy to appeal to their emotions and sell the house.
  • May sell faster and for a higher sales price: Staged homes often sell faster and for more money because homebuyers don’t have to worry about renovations or major repairs. The more emotionally tied buyers get to a home, the more likely they are to sign a sales contract and meet your asking price to ensure they get the deal.
  • Creates a better first impression: Buyers can easily view as many homes as they want online, so the first impression is key. Staging a home to sell helps catch potential buyers’ attention when browsing online, making them more likely to make an offer.

Options For Staging A Home

Like any home service, there are different ways of staging a home for a quick sale, whether you DIY, hire a professional or use your real estate agent.


If you have an eye for detail and know what homebuyers want, you can handle the home staging yourself. Keep in mind this may include tasks such as repainting, rearranging furniture, removing personal items and adding neutral pictures and other decor to appeal to a wide audience.


  • You may save money doing the tasks yourself.
  • You control the final outcome, presenting your home how you desire.


  • You may not know what potential buyers want to see.
  • You could miss important factors and not get the highest price for your home.

Professional Home Stager

A professional home stager handles hundreds or thousands of staging jobs. They know what buyers want and how to appeal to their senses. They take the least time to stage your home but, when they are done, you may have live in a home that may not feel like yours.


  • Professional home staging can help your house sell faster and for more money.
  • You don’t have to worry if you don’t understand interior design.


  • Professional home stagers add to the cost of selling your house, decreasing your profits.
  • You may have a lot of items you must store that the home stager doesn’t think should be in the house.

Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent can also help you stage your home. Since they know what local homebuyers want, your real estate agent can help you highlight specific areas or make small changes to catch the eye of more buyers.


  • Real estate agents have unique knowledge of your local market.
  • You only have to work with a single professional on all aspects of selling your home.


  • Your real estate agent may not be an expert on interior design.
  • Real estate agents have many more tasks to complete than a professional home stager.

How Much Does Home Staging Cost?

According to the NAR study, the median cost of a professional home stager is $600. If staging a house on a budget is on your agenda, consider trying to DIY some or all of the process or enlist the help of your real estate agent. Some agents include paying for a professional home stager in their clients’ benefits, so don’t be afraid to shop around.

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4 Tips For How To Stage A Home For Sale

Before listing your house for sale, consider these tips on how to stage a home.

1. Deep Clean The House

Deep cleaning is much more thorough than a surface clean. You aren’t just dusting and mopping. Instead, you’re getting in all the nooks and crannies to make the house shine. Think of all the inconspicuous areas homebuyers may look at and ensure they’re clean. This includes closets, drawers, crawl spaces and even cleaning stove drip pans and smoke alarms.

2. Declutter Your Belongings

Home buyers want to be able to walk in and envision their new life in your home. If all they see all your personal belongings it can be hard for them to personalize the space to their own preference. Remove any personal items that aren’t immediately necessary for everyday living, which may include trinkets and photographs.

3. Make Repairs

When staging your home, you may uncover issues. While most buyers want a “perfect” home, there are things you should and shouldn’t fix. However, the right repairs may boost the value of your home, making you greater profits. These include:

  • Walls and ceilings: Walls and ceilings see wear and tear through daily living. Pictures, kids, and moving furniture easily scratch, dent and put holes in the walls. Some quick patchwork can make your house look like new.
  • Water systems: Leaky pipes, dripping faucets or noisy toilets can easily distract homebuyers. Take care of these simple repairs yourself or call in a plumber to do the work so buyers can focus on the home’s features.
  • Flooring: Flooring is as important as the walls. If there are cracks, stains or chips in the flooring, repair them or consider replacing the entire flooring if the damage is bad enough. Like a fresh coat of paint, fresh flooring can give a home a fresh breath of air.
  • Landscaping: To set a good first impression, your landscaping must be well maintained. Take the time to prune the bushes, plant some flowers, and manicure the lawn. Landscaping provides curb appeal, which can greatly affect your home’s value and whether buyers call to tour the inside or not.

4. Finish Unfinished Projects

If you’re the type who starts a project and never finishes, make finishing it a part of your home staging. No one wants to see a half-built deck or a partially renovated bathroom. Finish what you started to increase your home’s value and the interest in your house.

Is Home Staging Worth It?

The NAR study also found that 20% of buyers’ agents state that home staging increased a home’s sales price by 1% to 5% on average compared to homes that weren’t staged. Whether it’s worth it depends on whether you’re selling in a buyer’s or seller’s market. Staging can also greatly affect how long it takes to sell a house, speeding up the process when done right. However, it can’t outdo other factors, such as the local demand.

FAQs On Home Staging

Home staging can have a positive impact on your home sale. Here are some commonly asked questions about it.

How do you stage a home while living in it?

The best way to stage a home while living in it is to mentally move out of it, first. Pretend it’s no longer your home, and you must keep things in perfect order – like you would if you were renting it for a short stay. Remove personal belonging and only keep necessary items in your spaces. One benefit of removing personal items is you can start packing them now and have less to pack once you sell.

Is virtual staging better than real staging?

Virtual staging isn’t as personal as real staging because you use virtual furniture and decor, but it gives buyers a perspective of how the house might look with their belongings. There’s no replacement for real staging, but virtual staging can be the perfect answer for those searching for homes long distance or who don’t want to visit the home in person.

Are home staging costs tax deductible?

You may be able to deduct the home staging costs from the final sales price. This decreases your profits and, therefore, your total capital gains and taxes owed. It best to speak to a financial advisor to find out more.

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The Bottom Line: Home Staging Spotlights Your Home’s True Potential

Home staging is a great way to highlight your home’s features and help it sell faster. You can hire a professional to do the home staging, manage it yourself or combine the two for the best results. Whether home staging means decluttering, cleaning or a complete revamp of your house, if you provide what buyers want, you’ll increase your chances of selling the home faster.

The more tips you have to get your house ready to sell, the greater your chances of selling it at the price you want. So do your homework and work with an agent who can offer assistance throughout the sale process.