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Why Does Home Staging Cost SO MUCH?!

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

If you are anything like me, trying to find the best price on purchases is important. And over the past year or two, prices have skyrocketed on most products and services, so I'm always looking for ways to cut costs. As a consumer myself, I completely understand when a realtor or home owner asks if there is any way to offer a lower price on our staging services. But, as a small business owner, and as a stager who is committed to offering quality staging services that have shown repeated success in helping my clients achieve their real estate goals (to date for 2021, the average days on market of our staged homes is seven, with the highest above ask sales price being $154,500 above asking price!), I'd like to share a few things with you to help you understand the why behind our pricing.


Delivery and Removal Services - In order to create an amazing atmosphere that makes your listing stand out from the rest, it requires an extensive amount of high quality furnishings and décor which all have to be transported from our storage facility to your property and then returned again at the end of staging lease. The minimum cost of this service to our company is close to $400 for each staging job we take. Longer distances and larger homes (that require more hours of service or even additional trips from our movers) increase that cost.


Storage Cost - Particularly here in Hawaii, the cost to store inventory is exceptionally high. We are always balancing the desire to purchase additional inventory, so that we can provide more staging jobs each month, with the high cost to store those items whenever they are not in use. The average cost to our company to store ONE home's worth of inventory is about $350/month. To be honest, I get just a little jealous every time that I speak with a stager on the mainland that only pays a fraction of that cost, but that is the price we pay to live and work in paradise!


Labor Cost - As the designer and lead stager, I am passionate about curating incredible spaces for my clients, and try very hard to customize each home to reflect the target buyer pool. On average, each property takes approximately twelve to fifteen hours of prep time (from the preview, to planning, to pulling and packing inventory right before staging day). After all the prep work is done, our team of two to three stagers spends hours installing and perfecting our staging plan so that it is market ready! Then, when you have had a successful transaction and it is time to remove our staging inventory, our team comes back and spends more hours packing these items and getting it ready for the new owners to take possession. These labor hours are a substantial portion of the cost that is built into each of our staging packages. Without paying myself for any of my time, the labor cost our company incurs on each job is often close to $600.


Curated Inventory - While we definitely find a number of bargains on smaller items at discount stores such as Ross and TJMaxx, part of creating high end spaces is carrying an inventory of high end furniture and art (which is quite costly)! Not only is the cost of the furniture expensive, but if we can't find an item we need locally, the delivery cost of those items to Hawaii is often almost as much as the item itself.


Additional Operating Costs - While the items listed above are the main costs for each staging job we install, there are a number of other costs required to run a small business that we have to cover as well. From marketing, credit processing fees, website services, insurance, continuing education/certifications, and more, the expenses add up.


After delving into these expenses, you can see that the bare minimum cost (before paying for inventory, paying myself at all, or covering any of the miscellaneous operating costs we incur) to stage a small property is about $1350 (and larger properties are much more). So, when someone asks me if I can do it for $800, and I respond that I would actually be losing money at that price, I truly mean it.


Our team is so privileged to work with some of the most amazing realtors on O'ahu. I absolutely LOVE my job and it is my goal to be able to continue providing my clients with high quality services that make their listings shine for many years to come... part of that is staying profitable in an ever growing and changing world. And, I am committed to maintaining the quality of service that we provide, so that we can continue to help YOU get the best results possible!


Also, as a sidenote, if you are a homeowner that is working with a listing agent who provides staging as part of their listing service, they are giving you a service that is worth THOUSANDS of dollars in order to help YOU be successful in achieving the highest offers as quickly as possible… and it comes straight out of their commission! 🙌🏼


If you have any questions, would like to discuss staging one of your upcoming listings, or would like a copy of our most recent pricing sheet, give us a call at 808-226-2826!


© Householder Homes Staging, 2021

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