Is Staging Your Home Worth It?

I must admit that when I decided to sell my condo, I was pretty firm on the decision not to stage my home.  I had this idea and belief that staging your home was a complete waste of money, and that it was an overpriced expense that you don’t need.  I wondered: Is staging your home worth it?

Is Staging Your Home Worth It?

Is Staging Your Home Worth It?

Even if I changed my mind, if I were going to stage it, I thought, I would just do it myself.  I didn’t want to pay a company thousands of dollars to rent a few pieces of furniture here and there to make a home look contrived.

Related: 6 Single Female Home Buyer Tips for your First Condo

Then, my sister in law, who is very budget savvy and excellent with cost savings and making sure she gets value out of every purchase she makes, staged her condo and sold it (very quickly, though this was in 2018 when the market was pretty good).  I was surprised that she would spend thousands of dollars to stage her condo.  I admire her ability to save money, she is much better than me at saving money.

When it came time for me to sell my condo, I decided to have an open mind given the poor real estate market I was in (2019).  My realtor recommended that I stage my condo.  I take a realtor’s advice with a grain of salt though, because no one cares more about selling your home more than you.

Anyway, in the end, I decided to have an open mind and obtain quotes, since the home staging companies provide complimentary home staging quotes if you have an empty home without furniture in it.  I decided not to stage it myself because I had absolutely no time and energy with two young children to take care of.

Benefits of Home Staging

There are benefits to staging your home to sell it.  Because buying a home (especially if you are buying it for yourself and are not simply buying a rental property) is both a logical experience and an emotional experience, staging your home is like putting your home’s best face forward.

Staging your home is analogous to contouring your face when you are applying makeup.


The potential buyer wants to be able to visualize and imagine themselves in the home.  Part of the real estate buying process is illogical and very visual.

You want a good first impression.

Moneysense states that the design and display products in home staging contribute a quarter of home sales.  People want to see the functionality of the space.  It’s very surface level improvement.

An article from Marketwatch cites a 2013 study comparing 170 properties on the market of staged and non-staged homes, and staged homes sold after 22 days on average and un-staged homes sold on average 125 days on the market.

That’s a big difference.

Cost of Home Staging

The cost of home staging varies depending on the size of your unit.  In general, to stage a 1 bedroom, it was around $2000-$2800 from the quotes I obtained.  Monthly costs after the first month is much less, usually half of what you paid for the first month, mine was around $800-900 a month (or in some cases it is the same as the first month’s cost).  It can cost more or less depending on where you live and what home staging services are available.

What’s included when you stage your home?

Home Staging includes things like:

  • Sofa
  • Bed with bedding, pillows, bed frame
  • Lamps
  • Dining table, chairs
  • Accent chairs
  • Decorative pictures/ photo frames
  • Coffee table books
  • Cookbooks for your kitchen
  • Patio furniture if you have a patio
  • Beautiful fluffy white towels

Basically no detail goes unnoticed to make your home look more like a home (and less cluttered)!

The Process of Home Staging

It was easy to get a quote.  All I did was a phone call and then made an appointment with a home staging designer to come by.  I got quotes from 4 different companies.  She did some measurements and gave some ideas or suggestions as to what she would put in the space and what size bed they would recommend for the bedroom.  Then they sent a contract and we arranged a date for the move-in of furniture.  That was pretty much it!

When it comes time to removing the furniture, another date is arranged and the move-out is done.  My realtor was there to open the door for the stagers.

It was a very straightforward and headache free process.

Staging can be expensive and not something you want to invest in to sell your condo when you are already in a down real estate market.  Here are some ways to save money on home staging costs.

Related: Canada’s Top Cities to Buy Real Estate

Ways to Save Money on Home Staging Costs

Just Get the Pictures and Cancel

Essentially, because of the Internet and the ability to search for homes online, the most important thing about attracting a potential buyer are the pictures and the video (if any) that are visible on or MLS.

Usually the home staging company charges you a first month’s fee (which includes the move in and move out fee), and then after that, they will charge you biweekly or monthly from then on.  To save money on home staging costs, you could make sure you just pay for the first month and cancel afterwards.

I made the mistake of letting it go on for another month so had to pay another month of costs, but really, I needed the home staged most importantly for the pictures and video that go with the MLS listing.

Stage Your Home Yourself

Alternately, you really could do it yourself but you better hope that you have a good eye for interior design.  I thought I had a good eye for interior design but if I were to be honest with myself, I really don’t.

You would need to buy or rent furniture yourself and move in and out the furniture yourself.  If you have experience renting apartments out on Airbnb and can put together furniture pieces and decor nicely, then you likely won’t need to pay for a home stager.

Get a Home Staging Consult Instead

Instead of DIY home staging, you could also pay for a consult fee (it should be under $500) with the home staging company and stage it yourself with their suggestions.  You would, of course have to source the furniture you need to get yourself, which can be time consuming.

Finally, if you decide not to stage and you don’t want to rent pieces of furniture (e.g. you already have furniture in your home and you are living in it while it is being showed), make sure you remove things that would turn off potential buyers.

Think neutral peaceful colour palette, minimalist, and uncluttered.

That gothic decor or 1970’s patterned kitchen tablecloth that you have is not going to be appealing to potential buyers as much as it is appealing to you.

Here’s what I learned when I got rid of 365 Things in the effort to declutter.

Free Staging Through Properly

Properly is located in a few cities in Canada and you might have seen the ads with the Property Brothers on them.  They provide free staging and have a buy first sell later approach when you are switching from properties.

Here’s my Properly review.’s Verdict on Whether Staging a Home is Worth It

Is staging your home worth it?  Would I do it again?  Yes I would.  It was worth the $2000+ I spent on home staging.  I found that this was more worth it than paying $500 for new faux wood blinds that I put in my apartment.  It’s even more worth it than paying a realtor’s commission in my opinion, haha.

I can’t say whether staging my home allowed for an increased sale price on my condo (because how can I prove that especially in this non-ideal seller’s real estate market), but I can say that staging the home attracted a lot more potential buyers.

There were requests for viewings a few times per week, and there were a lot of people that came to the open houses.  What the people decided to do after they saw the condo in person, was another thing.

The main benefit of home staging was that it got potential buyers there.

Staging my condo for sale also made me want to hire a stager or interior designer for our current home (but we didn’t).  Their ideas were fresh and made the condo seem bigger than it was, and very liveable (I almost wanted to move back in, that’s how nice they made it look).

The work designers can do is amazing.

Summary of How to Save Money on Home Staging Costs

To recap, here’s how to save money on home staging costs:

  • Just stage your home for the pictures and video (but if you can afford it or don’t mind paying, you’ll likely get better results continuing with the staging)
  • Do it yourself
  • Obtain a consult from the home staging company and do it yourself (the hybrid approach)
  • If you are going to avoid home staging all together, make sure the place is clean, remove pieces in your home that would be a turn-off to prospective buyers, declutter, and make it look as neutral as possible.

Do you have experience with home staging? 

Do you think staging your home is worth it?

Selling your home and wondering about whether staging your home is worth it? Should you DIY your own decor? Here are some ideas on how to save money on staging your home especially if you're on a budget. Home staging led to a faster sale for me. #realestate #sellinghome #home #decor #staging

Are you selling your home and wondering about whether staging your home is worth it? Should you DIY your own decor? Here are some ideas on how to save money on staging your home especially if you're on a budget. Home staging led to a faster sale for me. #realestate #sellinghome #home #decor #staging

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13 thoughts on “Is Staging Your Home Worth It?”

  1. I have some experience with staging 2 houses for sale in the last several years. I think it is important, but it should be done in a budget-conscious manner. IMO, a quality real estate agent should provide staging as part of selling your home. This includes supplementing furnishings when necessary. It’s one of the few ways an agent can add value and differentiate themselves in this day of the MLS and internet-based selling. Otherwise, the service they provide is just a high priced commodity. Tom

    • @Tom- Did your real estate agent provide this when you sold your two houses? I agree, I have a strong distaste for realtors and what they do and the commissions they charge. I know of a friend who had a realtor pay for new floors (how nice!) so I suppose staging isn’t out of the ordinary.

      • 1 house I did myself. And one house the agent did. She even hired an interior design consultant that helped her (at no cost to us). The house was beautiful. I’m not sure if this is typical, but it’s a question that should be asked of any listing agent before you decide to use them. Tom

  2. It was almost $4000 to stage our two bedroom condo and it was so worth it! Staging made the pictures amazing and our unit feel very welcoming and homey. It definitely felt expensive. I felt it was more worthwhile than all the painting our realtor recommended we do. I think that pictures are really important since they’re what get people into your home!

  3. We didn’t stage our condo. It took forever to sell so I don’t know. Staging might have helped a bit.
    Our realtor didn’t recommend it. I don’t know…

  4. I haven’t experience staging a home but by just browsing open houses that are staged, it does bring in extra appeal to the home and based on the numbers you provided, it’s not surprising that staged homes are sold much quicker than homes that are not. So I would say it’s worth staging your home to get more potential buyers.

    • @Kris- Personally I would be more interested in a staged home too, but if it was empty (as in when I bought my condo the pics were empty) that’s okay too. It’s just the tacky personal items that I find unappealing when you are looking for a new home.

  5. Where I am from in Ontario, many realtors include staging with their services. We are meeting with a few now to sell my mom’s house and they have all said it’s included. But their commissions are all also 5% plus HST. Maybe commission rates are less in other provinces? The one realtor even had his own staging company while the others had partnerships with a company.

    • @Connie- That’s great to know realtors in Ontario include this in their services! I don’t think it’s the norm here. Here the commissions in BC are something like 7% on first $100K and then shared 3.25% remaining balance (both split between buying and selling realtor).

  6. When we sold our condo in Vancouver we just stagged the place ourselves with existing furniture. But I can see how it might be useful to hire a staging company. For example, if we were to sell our house, we might look into that.


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