How Properly Staging Can Help Sell Your Home | DOBI

How Properly Staging Can Help Sell Your Home

You Only Get One Chance To Make a First Impression

If you’re looking to list your home for sale, one of the most important parts of the process is coming across the right buyer. To do that, you’ll want to ensure your home appears as attractive as possible and highlights the best features of your home. In fact, staging a home can increase the dollar value offered sometimes up to 20%.

One thing often overlooked, is the importance of home staging. So what is home staging? How much does it cost? And what are the benefits?

Home staging involves bringing in furniture, art, and accessories to make your home look its best and help buyers imagine a future in the home you currently own. When done correctly, home staging can transform a space from outdated and lived-in to new and trendy and if you stage your home from the start, you have a good chance of selling it quickly and for top dollar. Even currently as the market is balancing out, staging your home allows buyers to have more options to choose from. So ensuring you can make the best, first impression and having your home is staged to sell can increase the amount of value in your home.

The Goal of Home Staging

The purpose of home staging is to help potential buyers see themselves in the home with updated decor that’s not personal to the current homeowner, not outdated, and makes the features of the home pop. According to 83% of buyer’s agents, staging a home makes it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Sometimes home staging involves removing personal photos and mementos to clear out clutter, then bringing in on-trend decor and furniture.

It provides a neutral ground and they can visualize their life in that home. Buyers get excited about it too because it’s contemporary and up to date. Proper staging won’t just help a buyer to visualize their life in the home: It can also help a home appear newer and in better condition.

The Staging Process

When you work with a professional staging service, a crew will come in to suggest layouts and stage main rooms of the home, including the kitchen, master bedroom, and living room. Many buyers needs and wants have changed post-COVID, so now most sellers opt to stage a spare room as a home office for remote workers.

If the home is vacant, the staging company will typically suggest bringing furniture in for a period of 45 to 90 days, depending on the contract. If the home is still occupied by the owner, you’ll have to store your furniture or relocate it to another part of the home, such as the basement, while the staging furniture is in use.

Working with an Expert

There are plenty of home staging companies in the Metro Detroit area including Impact Home Staging ExpertsStaged Detroit, and Spotlight Staging & Design to fit your staging needs. The cost of staging depends on the size of the home, items needed, and the timeline of how long you would need to rent the pieces. We love seeing the before and after photos illustrating just how impactful staging can be to speak to buyers’ needs.

By working with a staging expert, buyers can see the potential of the space especially if it’s an odd shape or has a funky layout. Additionally, open floor plans can really benefit from staging by helping buyers visualize how the space can be used or the potential of certain areas within the homes. It also shows a buyer that the seller takes care of their home and that there is less likely anything to be wrong with it.

DOBI agent, Saverio Montalto, shares that his condo listed in Detroit was getting no showings. “After having it completely staged within a week we had 10 showings. There are so many great staging companies out there, but I love working with Staged Detroit because the owner is also a realtor so she understands the listing that much more. Plus they have a huge amount of inventory that fits many different home styles.”

Timeframe & Cost 

According to the National Association of Realtors, a statistic from 2022 shares that 62% of listing agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. In general, the standard timeframe for most staging company contracts is 60 days. After the 60 days are up, the seller or listing agent will have the option to renew the rental for an additional number of days until the property sells. However, most homes do not always need the full 60 days, especially in today’s market where homes are selling quicker and on average 30 days or less.

In the month of June here in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties, homes stayed on the market for 22, 25, and 21 days respectively.

The costs of staging a home vary on square footage and the package you choose. If it’s a well-decorated home, then a consultation on minor tasks like decluttering, packing away or moving around furniture will suffice. This type of consultation from a professional staging company is usually less than $200. DOBI agent, Alex Lannen, shares that she recently sold a home that had all the basic furniture pieces it needed such as a couch, dining table and chairs. So for $800, they had a professional stager bring in accent pieces and decor to add life and warmth to the rooms. For that price, they were able to keep the items for 45 days.

For vacant homes, the cost is higher because furniture and decor are needed for the key rooms including kitchen, dining, living/family room and master bedroom. For this type of package, the cost is around $1200-$1500 for a 45-day rental, depending on the size of the house and rooms. With a good stager, the rooms will be completely furnished and decorated.

As far as who pays for it there are different ways it can be handled. It can be split between the seller and the listing agent. the seller can cover it, or the listing agent can pay for it. It really depends on each person or agent. If the cost is a concern, then the three areas at minimum that should be staged are the family room, kitchen, and master bedroom.

DOBI agent, Alex Lannen, offers complimentary home staging to her clients as part of listing your home with her. Alex shares, “I had a client last year who had tried to list her home by owner on Zillow for $340,000. In the four weeks her home was listed by owner, she did not receive a single call or showing request. She decided to hire me. We staged the house – mainly with decluttering, rearranging and taking out certain furniture pieces, and adding minimal decor in key areas, then had the home professionally photographed. We hit the market with a list price of $359,000, had dozens of showings, and received multiple offers within the first 24 hours of listing. Ultimately, the owner accepted an offer for $375,000!”


DOBI agent, Heather Ruhana has a background in home interior design. With Heather’s background, she has never personally used a stager because she has always done it herself for her clients. However, if you don’t have any experience in design or staging, she says it’s a must to sell your home. So why is that?

Heather shares “Home staging is so important for so many reasons. First impressions mean so much, it’s the same with home buying. You want your home to stand out from the rest. You also want it on the “must-see” list for potential buyers. You can take an ordinary home and make it special with staging.”

If the home doesn’t need professional staging because the seller has not moved out yet, we highly suggest cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing the home.

In addition, Heather shares a few other expert tips you can use if you choose not to use a professional staging company:

  • Strong scents can deter buyers, so be sure to neutralize any strong odors.
  • Declutter and organize closets, drawers, and refrigerators since most serious buyers will want to look through these areas.
  • Neutral color palettes are the way to go so that buyers can easily visualize their own furniture and decor in the home. Paint is the easiest way to neutralize a room as bold colors can turn off buyers. A can of paint is cheap and goes a long way.
  • If you have a busy print on your sofa or chair consider purchasing a slipcover.
  • Dated or broken window coverings or blinds should be taken down or replaced.
  • Lighting can also make a big difference as well, so be sure to replace older lighting with new fixtures. There are cost effective fixtures at all the big box stores, Amazon, or your local hardware store.
  • Don’t forget about the outside of your home! Curb appeal is key. Keep up with your landscaping in the summer and fall and snow removal in the winter.

Better Homes & Gardens
National Association of Realtors
Saverio Montalto
Alex Lannen
Heather Ruhana