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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I have a townhome and need to have it sold ASAP. How much would a stager normally cost? Do they charge by hour

ling921January 7, 2013
I have a townhome and need to have it sold ASAP. How much would a stager normally cost? Do they charge by hours or by projects? Please advise.
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Interiors International, Inc.
We charge by the hour, project or percentage of the sale. Where is your town house? I certainly would like to talk with you and hopefully help you.
My contact info is at www.idesignintl.com or email me at JIICEO@AOL.COM
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Honestly, anyone can stage their own house. It's just a matter of clearing out all the clutter and personal effects in every room and making the house look like it's a show home.

We did this when we put our 3 bedroom home up for sale. We cleared out everything to a self storage facility, painted the entire house and did a super clean from top to bottom. The homes in our area were on the market for an average of 30-45 days before an offer was made. We sold ours in 4 days!
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:19PM
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HI Chelseabeagle, I don't think EVERONe can stage their own house as some people have no idea what looks good or what needs to be remedied about their place.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Aja Mazin

Odd, but the rooms above appear to have been professionally staged!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Hello Aja, this was just a sample of something I like. I just wanted to know a fair price for a professional stager so I don't get ripped off (heard a few unhappy cases from friends). =)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:48PM
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You can also just hire a stage consultant for less than $300 to tell you what to do to stage your home. If you have the right scaled furniture, declutter, de-personalize and clean, clean, clean, you may be able to do it yourself.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Aja Mazin

I was wondering how you hoped to improve on it!

1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Lioness Interiors
I agree with Aja that townhouse is done. Pack up everything personal, remove excess furniture, clean & polish, fresh coat of paint always helps and keep it simple. Use the photo in your post as a guide
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:09PM
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gm construction and design
I do not think that everyone can stage their own home. The main problem with most homes is clutter. Little things....nick knacks....fridge magnets.....tons of small personal photos.....these things are bad. Clean and simple is the key. Often times a real estate agent will have a stager that they work with and offer that as part of their service. If you are still shopping around for an agent ask potential agents if this is a service they provide.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:32AM
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How about a picture of your townhouse and we can see what we think?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 5:32AM
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Here is a photo of the living room .. Very small ... Thanks for helping!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Aja Mazin
What a wonderful space!
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:41PM
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Staging does help sell homes. However, I can't see a percentage of the sale being a fair or reasonable way of pricing staging costs. I would run from anyone suggesting that. They deserve to be paid for their services, not for the value of your home. Referrals are a good idea. And real estate agents could be a good source.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Yes, real estate agents know stagers they can recommend for a flat fee. Since the home is vacant, you may need to rent furniture. But, many stagers have a "warehouse" of tried and true furniture already available. I've seen homes staged in bedrooms with simply a right height blow up mattress and nice bedding and it looked way better than vacant.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Naper Home Design
Hello! Simple answer to your question would be $100 per hour. So,it really depends on how much time profesional home stager will spend in your home to make it presentable and ready to sell. If you have more questions please let me know, I would be happy to help you. Good Luck!:)
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Studio S Squared Architecture, Inc.
I had a 4BR, 2500 house here in SF staged for sale back in 2010--$3000 for the first month, $1000/month thereafter. We did use a fair amount of our own furniture, so the stager gave us a small discount.

I think that if you hire a pro to stage your house using your furniture but buying accessories for you (or giving you a list from which to shop), hourly would be the fairest way to go. Designers in SF charge anywhere from $50-$200+/hour.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Thanks guys! I will give it a try n stage it myself first ... I reaLly need to repaint this room. What color of paint do you think I should use? What appeals to most people?
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:32PM
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John Coffey
I have had a very good experience with a professional stager when I was selling a condo renovated recently. I paid around $1300 to stage the kitchen, living room two bathrooms, two bedrooms. The condo sold in three days as a result of the excellent finishing touch provided by the stager who supplied all furniture and decorating accessories. It was well worth the money spent to get it sold so quickly and we got our asking price as well ! It just allows a prospective buyer to imagine him/herself living in the space when it is furnished...if you plan to attempt to stage it yourself, just make sure that all personal effects are removed...such as family photos etc. And it must be immaculately clean and free of any and all clutter...good luck with your sale !
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:37PM
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NexTrend Design
I've been in this business for some years, so I'd like to address some comments above. Yes, $100/hr is the industry standard rate for staging, although pricing can vary.

Occupied homes preparing to sell should start with a staging consultation, often paid for by the realtor, so it's well worth it to find a realtor who believes in staging & hires a stager for every listing. A staging consultation generally takes (+/-) 2 hours, so ~ $200 to find out what to declutter, how to rearrange your furniture, what to fix & clean & paint, what items to buy/rent to complete a show home look. It can involve weeks of homework for the homeowner to get the home show-worthy.

Vacant homes usually require a site visit by the stager to do a proper estimate on staging costs and furniture rentals. Site visits and estimates are usually free of charge and then the project is charged out as a package price. Not every room is necessarily staged, depending on budget, so almost any budget can be accommodated by staging priority rooms rather than the entire home. My staging costs generally range from $1,800 - $5,000 and even up to $12,000 for high end luxury homes. This cost is usually for the first month only, which covers design planning, sourcing furniture & accessories, coordinating all aspects of the job, installation & design labor, & all moving costs. After month #1 there's a significant discount for furniture rentals only, usually ranging from 50-65% off.

I understand the rationale behind stagers charging a percentage of the home's price. Some stagers have worked out their pricing formulas so well that they can predict & estimate staging costs based on the price of the home or the square footage of the home. This is an extremely efficient method of estimating and I could save myself a month or more of detailed estimating time over the course of a year if I could use a formula that would work consistently 95% of the time.

In the end, you usually pay for what you get. A bedroom with a blow up bed & bedding is what I call "barely there" staging. Kind of like shopping at bargain basement discount stores... it's there but not very inspiring or exciting. Then there's quality furniture & expert color and design expertise that creates a dreamy show home and elevates BUYER DESIRE so potential buyers can hardly resist putting in an offer. Now that's effective staging because some expert stagers have learned color & marketing psychology, not just decorating techniques!

Does that clarify some of your questions about the staging industry?

Here's a Before & After of a very humble townhouse that sold in 1 day for $13,000 over asking price after I staged it.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 12:11AM
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deb jo
I as a home buyer and owner, I really believe that a staged home is a buyers candy store.
Everything looks so beautiful and settled and ready to move in, and even if some stuff is not your style people would always ask if they could have some of the furniture with it.

But in the end what sells your house is what other people is willing to pay and you willing to accept, we ended up going for a empty house to buy, but furniture placement in it would have helped immensely on our future layout and so on.

I would advise that go for a staging company with a flat p.h rate, and request a quote for the services, like the shopping list and maybe some lighting schemes, its all a quotation and there are no strings attached.

I do believe you can stage your house yourself but just to some amount, never expect to have exactly what you see on photos, because those were worked on by people who are professionals, worked many years on the trade and it shows.

Some tips:
-Uncluttered spaces always seems lighter and brighter
-Move the furniture around until you find where it looks best
-Great Lighting makes anything look better, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet.
-Neutral colours for furniture, or on the walls.
-Flowers and some green potted plants(medium sized, but not huge)

Just be true to yourself and appreciate your own work if you end up doing it by yourself, because its great.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 4:28AM
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