Several issues ago, I wrote an article on the importance of staging. I think the subject is worth revisiting. Nearly every time an agent calls me about staging a vacant home, the reaction is the same… SHOCK!

Of course, my reaction is also SHOCK! When staging, you must take into consideration the initial cost of the furnishings, storing it and delivering it. A home about 2,000 to 3,000 s.f. could cost $1,000 to $2,000 per month with a three month contract by the furniture rental company.

Often, I’m asked, “What if the house sells in a week?” There are shorter term contracts, but the cost goes up considerably. The 3 month contract is the best monthly deal.

Not too long ago, a client wanted a 3,000 s.f. home to look “occupied.” Now, this was a single man who had been renting out the home for several years, so he had no items to contribute to the staging. He wanted every room filled, right down to toys in two of the bedrooms. So, that meant I needed to supply EVERYTHING! He expected dishes, kitchen counter appliances, art, plants, toiletries, books and accessories in the den and those DAMN TOYS! Imagine his surprise when I quoted him over $7,000 per month, again, that is a fee from a furniture rental company. That doesn’t include my fee for setting it all up.

When staging an unoccupied home, I like to concentrate on the main rooms. The best scenario is a home with a “Great Room.” When perspective buyers walk into a home, they should see furniture. So, if there is a “Formal” living and dining room, they must be furnished. That means “Formal” living space, Family room, Master Suite and if there is a den/office, they must all be at least sparsely furnished.

I’m not being this brutally honest to scare you away from staging, just to make you realize that there are substantial costs to staging. Informing you only helps you to look better to your client. Now, instead of saying, “I really would recommend staging.” You can say, “Staging can be a substantial added expense, but I think it can be beneficial to the sale of your home.” And you are equipped with the information to ease your client into the cost instead of getting back to them and being as shocked as they are.