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How Much Does Staging Cost and Does it Work?


That’s how long it takes the average buyer to click through to the next listing if they don’t see what they are looking for. With 91% of Canadians looking for their next home online, prepping your listing for those 5 seconds is absolutely crucial.

How Much Does Staging Cost?

To get into the nitty gritty of costs I turned to GTA staging expert Michelle Finnamore of Advantage Staging

MS: What does it cost to stage a vacant home?

MF: We typically stage the 5 principal rooms for approx. $5600- $5800. The rooms include the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and the family room. We also stage the foyer and the bathrooms at no additional fee as a bonus for your clients.

MS: Awesome! Those are really important features especially the foyer. I really believe people make up their mind about a house the moment they step inside. I can see it on my buyer clients’ faces all the time.

MF: Exactly. And if they wish to stage an office or extra bedrooms it would be an additional $750. This includes all rental furniture, area rug, lamps, bedding, artwork, towels, florals and decor accessories, the staging and the de-staging, delivery and pick up. A vacant home requires two trucks and a staff of 5 to stage it in one day.

MS: Ok, great. But what about a home that is occupied by the owners? How do you determine what they need?

MF: If the home is occupied it really depends on what is there. Our starting staging fee for an occupied home starts at $675 and goes up to approximately $2500 depending on what is needed. If the home owner does all the work and would like to book us to return before photos (this service is called facing for the photographer) the fee is $300. I worked in a photography studio at one time so this is why the photos of our work look like a magazine.

By The Numbers

Let’s take a look at some numbers to help identify whether staging is worth the investment:

  • 79% of sellers are willing to spend up to $5,000 to get their house ready for sale.

  • 63% of buyers were willing to pay more money for a house that is move in ready.

  • 86% of those surveyed said storage space is important to potential buyers.

  • The Top 3 interior features for selling were freshly painted walls, organized storage space and current flooring.

  • 79% of buyers indicated they would be willing to pay a premium for a home with an updated kitchen.

  • Home staging is typically much less than the first price reduction.

I’d like to touch on that last point because it’s incredibly important. When setting the price for your home with your real estate agent, many people like to set it at a price where they feel they have room to negotiate.

“Let’s put it $10,000 higher and see what happens”. 

What often happens is that the home doesn’t sell for that amount and the home sits on the market for a couple of weeks. In today’s market, when a home sits for over two weeks the first thing buyers think is “hey, what’s wrong with that place? Everything is selling so fast! Why isn’t this one?”. 

Trust me I hear it from my buyer clients all the time. 

So now instead of “trying” to get that price, you’re forced to reduce the price (often by about $10K) and start all over. But what if you had invested $5000 in getting your home ready to sell? What if the staging was incredible, the photography brought in tons of buyers and suddenly you had a buyer interested in that fairytale price? Would it be worth it then to invest the money?

In today’s seller’s market – I believe it still is.

What If I Don’t Stage My Home…Will I Get Less For It?

That’s not necessarily the case at all. Many people in today’s market can still get a great price for their home without staging. Staging is meant to enhance the appeal of your home and to make you even more money on it than you thought possible. 

Staging is also ideal for homes that maybe haven’t been completely renovated from top to bottom. You know the house that has potential but the owners don’t really know how to show it off? Not every home is going to look like it’s out of a magazine, but staging can help bring an otherwise average house into people’s consideration set by showcasing space and light that buyers wouldn’t have known existed.

In my opinion, getting at the very least a consultation from a stager is a must. They can give you ideas for how to utilize pieces in your home or help you maximize a smaller budget. Either way, selling your home is about maximizing the value of the professionals you choose to help you do it and, for me, a stager is an absolutely critical part of that process.

*Stats provided by HomeGain2012 (

Mike Santos

I’m Mike. I created this website. I'm a real estate sales representative, but I’m a consumer behaviourist at heart. I like to understand what makes people tick and find out what’s really important to them. I value honesty and integrity over everything. I’m fiercely competitive and loyal and view myself more as a consultant than salesperson. In my free time I’m a registered sportsaholic and TV junkie.

This Post Has 7 Comments

    1. Hi Leona,

      This quote is from Michelle Finnamore, a staging expert in the GTA area. It would be best to contact her directly for anything quote-related as I’m sure it would differ from case to case. Also, I see that you’re in NY, so different markets will have different industry standards. Contact Michelle directly by visiting Thanks for stopping by!

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