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Gary Gukassi…,  in Pasadena, CA

Who normally pays the cost to stage a house...the listing agent or the owner of the property?

Asked by Gary Gukassian, Pasadena, CA Mon Nov 16, 2009

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The owner typically pays and should net more money than a non-staged house. CA Assn of Realtors should have the stats online. Good luck!
Eileen Lanza Keller Williams Larchmont
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 17, 2009

In my experience, there is Staging and there is staging. Staging, with a capital S, is a professionally orchestrated enhancement of the home and the seller pays for this. If you educate your seller properly, they will fall all over themselves to have this done (that is assuming we are not dealing with a short sale, where the seller does not profit). One way to educate your seller is to take them to see a staged home and a non-staged home, watch their reaction, and then point out to them that even they were more attracted to the staged home (which is almost always the case). I also maintain sales records of staged vs non-staged homes in my area. Staged homes sell for higher prices. Explain to you seller that buying is 90% emotional and only 10% logical.

Staging, with a small s, could also be referred to as declutter. Here, you walk through the home with your client and educate them on what will make the most impact. I will often provide them with a few silk plants, some nice towels, and even boxes to box up the excess. Remind them, they are selling, they have to pack anyway, now is a good time to pack up everything they will not need in the next 60 days. I use this technique on my short sale listings with great results. My short sales sell at or above asking price, usually sell in the first week on the market and that is the case even though I always price them at market. This helps with bank approval (most of my short sales have sold for more than the short sale lender's appraised amount) and shortens the time that your client is having their credit damaged due to late payments on their mortgage (if they are in fact in that position).

Either type of staging is beneficial and I highly recommend that you collect the data to help you educate your clients. It will make this part of your listing presentation powerful, and trust me, it will be something that most agents don't do in a listing presentation. Everyone comes out a winner when done right. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, CDPE
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 17, 2009
I am a professional Stager on the Westside of Los Angeles and mostly the owners will pay for staging. The Realtors out here are rarely paid for it. Most of properties on the Westside are staged before they expose on the market and the owners understood their own role. At the end the sellers will gain if they understand what staging is all about. Save time, money, and energy! You must explain to them that your duties are to pay for marketing and advertising and they are very expensive. The longer the properties are on the market the more money you have to spend for ads. Therefore, you educate them so they can understand that each party has their own role. You should introduce to them a Stager and let them deal with each other, and you step out of it. Once the property is staged, you can come and view it before you put the property on the market. Hope it will help you to deal with your clients. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at or 310-474-1249. Viviane
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 17, 2009
Normally, the owner of the property. The agent may offer to share a part of the cost, but wisely - they will fund that share only after closing.
Think of it this way - a physician may suggest that you join a gym, but they won't pay the membership nor buy your sweats and sneakers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
Dear Gary,

The owner of the property will pay for home staging in order to present their home in a better light and hopefully get higher and better offers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 8, 2012
The owner of the property, in my experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 6, 2012
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
Once in awhile an agent does pay for the staging but usually the home owner pays the cost. Now as for a home owner consultation, i have many agents who pay for those.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 6, 2012
I was looking around the internet for a stager for a listing of mine.
I ended up here on trulia.
So far All I found was,...
and the ones on this blog.
The interior designer on the website above has credentials.
What credentials should we be looking for?
Has anyone had any success.

Harold Sharpe
So Cal Homes Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
Hi Gary,

In New Jersey and from my experience very few home sellers are willing to invest in pro. staging their house. I provide advice and documentation for them at no cost, as part of my listing package.
To answer your question, normally the owner of the property pays the cost to stage a house.

Thank you-
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 18, 2009

In today's real estate market you only have one chance to make a great first impression. With being the owner of S.A.C. Interiors we specialize in Home Staging. The homeowners pay for the cost of staging the property. But now that we are going into a new year. Look for Interior Designers, Decorators and Stagers in your area. Usually these people run specials or they may have promotions going on where they maybe able to give your clients free or discounted consultations.

If your looking for a stager check out staged homes or look for an ASP.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 18, 2009
I have seen agents providing staging as a marketing tool, but most often I think the seller pays for it. We have gotten great results by having a stager involved and would not hesitate to suggest it to a seller.

If you think a house really needs it and the seller is reluctant you could offer to have them pay for it and split the cost at closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 18, 2009
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
Owner of the property responsible for those types of fees,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 21, 2009
The home seller pays for the staging. Although, if the seller has competively priced the property the agent can pay for the staging. But, if the seller doesn't price the listing well, I wouldn't invest any money in the staging. I would rather go to Vegas and probly have better odds of multiplying my money. LOL. j/k.

Best Regards,

Jes Sierra, B.Sc.
Century 21 Beachside Realtors®
Chino Hills, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 19, 2009
I do work with realtors that routinely offer a staging consultation as part of their listing services--they pay the fee. If the seller is willing and able to do the recommended work, it can be a very cost effective solution and the realtor looks good because they are offerring a value added service! I have never had a realtor pay for actual staging of an occupied or vacant property. This is more time consuming and involves a greater cost.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 19, 2009
I like Shel-lee's suggestion that the agent provide boxes for clutter. Nice touch... I'll probably try this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 18, 2009
I agree with most you on this issue, if you did a good job in educating your Seller-Client, he will realize the benefits of Staging. I have never done it.
Staging is a great marketing concept, but in this market, some properties are on the market for several month and you are running up and very nice bill.
I heard diff. stories from other agents, they split the cost 50/50, but you have to realize, here goes your commission check.
I personally believe, in pricing the Property Right or below Market Value, so you can get multiple offers from day one .I think this is more practical and cost effective
for your Clients...

Ryan Gussman, Realtor, SRES, e-PRO
Altera Wilson Real Estate
Northrige, CA 91324
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 17, 2009
It has been my personal experience to say that this is a very negotiable point to discuss at time of taking a listing. On the other hand, is a custom practice to have a home staged for faster sale and higher return on your investment. Finally, most home sellers will pay the fee for staging the property which is usually about 1% of sales price regardless of time it takes to get property SOLD!

I will most of the time assist my clients with the cost related to staging a property provided certain terms are agreed before we move forward with the listing and future sale of the property.

Have A Wonderful and Very Productive Day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 17, 2009
I will pay for the staging because I know there is always a return. I specialize in selling homes that were listed first with other agents and didn't sell, so often the Sellers are frustrated, tired and not open to new ideas, so I have no problem paying for staging to show I am invested with them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 17, 2009
That's negotiable. It really depends on the listing and the owners that you are working with. You also have to consider if you are going to stage the entire house or just a few key rooms, again negotiable. I have found that most owners are really workable on the back end of the sale, in other words, if they can pay out of escrow. In my experience, I have paid and I have also asked the owners to pay - it just depends on the listing price the type of home/property and the relationship I have with my clients. I know it's a bit vague, but I hope that helps. I am also interested to see what others say ...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
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