One of the first questions most prospective home sellers have is whether it makes sense to pay for home staging. Does it make sense to pay the equivalent of a small broker fee just to rent some fancy furniture? We’ll explain the pros and cons of physical home staging vs virtual home staging and the price ranges for both in NYC.
How Expensive Is Staging a House in NYC?
Staging a house in NYC is not cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 to physically stage your typical one to three bedroom home in NYC for six months, not including the cost of moving and storing your existing furniture.
Each home staging company will be different and have different pricing structures. Some home staging companies will require a minimum fee regardless of size. Some stagers will quote based off of square footage or number of bedrooms, and others prefer customized quotes and will refuse to price based off of a standard metric.
Here’s a sample quote from a local Manhattan based home staging company:
Thank you for your kind note. Typically our installation fee will range between $12 – $15 per sq ft.
With that said we do have certain minimum thresholds we need to meet for an installation. A 1,000 sq ft unit would come in at our minimum installation fee of $18,000.
We are able to offer a 6 month complimentary term for our inventory, although if the staging period extends beyond 6 months we would require a monthly rental fee of $1,400.
I hope you find this information helpful, please let me know how I can be of any assistance.
All the best,
Is Physical Home Staging Worthwhile?
Physical home staging is rarely worthwhile in NYC given the hassle and the expense. The money is almost always better spent elsewhere, whether it be on premium advertising or simply lowering the price. As one of our senior partner brokers put it, “there’s no way you can prove to me that $30,000 can’t be spent better elsewhere.”
Furthermore, the argument that buyers are used to seeing physically staged homes because of all of the new construction inventory on the market is baloney. You can’t seriously expect to believe that a sophisticated buyer of a multi-million dollar NYC apartment is not going to see very clearly what they’re buying. Buyers aren’t stupid. They clearly understand that the apartment is for sale, not the furniture. To assume that someone who’s about to spend multiple millions of dollars on an apartment will confuse the two or be unduly influenced is preposterous.
Lastly, the argument that you need to stage your home because buyers need to see modern furniture is ridiculous. If the point is to guess what the prevailing furniture fashion is, then you’ll never win because everyone has different tastes and you might as well leave the apartment vacant.
We understand that this is a contrarian opinion, but keep in mind that most articles written about this topic are sponsored advertorials written by home staging companies, or sponsored content by real estate agents trying to justify why the seller is paying 6% commission.1