How to Keep Staging Costs Down

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Everyone has a budget. We respect this. I always ask the client what their budget is. Then we identify the most important areas to be staged and allocate the budget accordingly. There are a number of ways to keep the staging costs down.

First, if we can work with your large furniture pieces, it saves the biggest part of the rental costs and moving costs. The furniture must be in good shape and be an appropriate color and style. We may rearrange furniture within your home from room to room and may still require you to remove excess pieces. However, we often try to use existing pieces as much as possible if we are working with a tight budget. If we are supplying an accessory package with smaller accent pieces of furniture and accessories, these packages can start as low as $650 and can go up to around $1500+ for a large home. Basically if we can move it without the additional expense of hiring movers, we can help stretch you’re staging budget and give you more.

Next, we identify the most important rooms to be staged. This usually includes main areas like living room/great room; dining rooms and kitchens; and master bedrooms. Normally we also stage the main bathrooms and ensuite bathroom. Quite often we will be asked to stage the main floor or main living area of a home if bedrooms are on an upper level.  In rare cases, clients request we stage the lower level as well. When we are dealing with specific budget, we usually eliminate staging the basement, then eliminate secondary bedrooms and focus on the main areas of the home. 

Depending upon the size of the home, we can also eliminate secondary furniture pieces. In a smaller home with smaller rooms, we can easily stage a bedroom without the expense of bringing in a dresser/mirror. This does not work as well in a large room where there is too much empty space in the bedroom. For secondary bedrooms, using a single bed is less costly than a double or queen bed. Using an accent chair in place of a dresser, can also help keep costs down. Sometimes setting up an office in a secondary bedroom is faster and more cost effective than setting up a bedroom. In a living room we may be able to use a sofa and chair rather than a sofa loveseat and chair. In a dining room we may be able to get away without bringing in a buffet table. Allowances for secondary furniture pieces allows us to work with a specific budget and still attain a beautifully staged room. One of the benefits of eliminating secondary furniture pieces is that a space always feels larger with less furniture in it. However, if the space is larger it simply doesn’t work. In this case, I will always let the home owner know that it would just look too sparse and not do the space justice. 

The amount of accessories we bring in also plays a role in the cost. When spreading out a budget, we need to ensure we have the key pieces in place but may be able to get away with enough accessories to complete a look, without the additional pieces we usually use. If we eliminate some secondary accessories, or minimize those required we can also help keep the costs down.

Finally, the most important way to save staging costs is to inform us when you have an offer on the home, do NOT wait until it is SOLD. If you let us know when you have an offer and what date the conditions are to be removed, usually anywhere from 3-5 days from accepted offer date, we can schedule the de-stage within a day or 2 of the sale be finalized. If you wait until Friday at 5pm to notify us the home is sold, we may already be booked with other stages and de-stages the first few days of the following week. That means you’ll be paying for almost and extra week of staging rental before we can de-stage the home! Let us know Monday when you receive an offer, we can schedule a de-stage date the next working day, or next available date after the conditions are removed. Please keep in mind we do not work weekends. So please do not expect to call us on Friday at 5pm and have us in Saturday morning to remove furniture. Sorry, that will not happen and it simply isn’t realistic. Rental costs apply for as long as you have the furniture, not the date the home is sold. No different than a rental car, you pay from the time you leave the dealer until you return it. We are very fair and only charge back what we are charged when we have to rent furniture, and will prorate the cost for rental of our own furniture and accessories. 

We do everything we can to make your staging experience as cost effective and successful as possible. Many homes are selling after 30 – 40 days on the market. However, we still have almost half our staged properties that sell in the first month.