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Ask Trulia: Is It Worth Hiring a Professional Home Stager?

Selling your home comes with its own expense, including temporary interior design upgrades to appeal to buyers.

Q: I’m getting ready to sell my house. While I think my decorating style is pretty chic, my agent mentioned that I might want to consider investing in staging my home before we list. Is it worth hiring a professional home stager?

— Katie, Portland, ME

A: This is an interesting question. Had you asked if staging was important, I wouldn’t have selected your question, because the answer is a thousand times yes. Staging has been proven to expedite the sale of a home significantly when compared with nonstaged homes. (Most people know this.)

But whether it’s worth hiring a professional is harder to answer — and highly dependent on the current state of your humble abode, as well as your abilities as a stylist. If you consider yourself handy, you can follow these DIY tips and get great results.

That being said, professionals have a leg up on the general public and even the craftiest of DIYers. Here’s why: they have tons of decorative stock — the only people with more furniture, artwork, textiles, and decorative accessories would have to be royalty. Or hoarders.

In any case, professional stagers use this inventory to create an I could live here vibe for prospective buyers. (This, after all, is the ultimate goal of staging.) Beyond decorating, these pros know how to work with contractors, painters, landscapers, and carpenters in the event that you need some heavier upgrades. And they can sometimes even oversee these projects to ensure the job is done in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

However, their expertise comes at a cost. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. But hiring a pro to remake your space into one that prospective buyers will love may help you sell faster, saving you time and energy.

So if time is a factor, I’d recommend you consult with a professional stager.

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