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Buying a home is not only an important, personal move, it’s also one of the biggest investments that many adults will make. If you’re trying to sell your home, professionally staging the property can help draw buyers in and even more effectively close the sale.
Home staging companies offer a variety of services to furnish, decorate, and even digitally redesign your property to appeal to buyers. This staging can be done whether the property is vacant or owner-occupied, and can involve your own belongings, the company’s furniture and decor, or a mixture of the two.
Here’s a look at the best home staging companies, and why you might want to consider using one of them when selling your home.
Best Overall: Showhomes
Why We Chose It: Showhomes has conducted tens of thousands of home stagings and is the largest company offering this service in the U.S. It also offers a live-in home manager service, a unique and cost-effective option for homeowners who want a more personalized staging approach.
Largest home staging company in the United States
Offers vacant staging, owner-occupied staging, and home manager staging/live-in
Experienced company with more than 30,000 homes staged
Staging fees can be paid at closing
Pricing varies by location
Not available everywhere
Independently owned franchises can mean inconsistent experiences
Showhomes is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and has locations in 19 states. The company has been featured on HGTV, the Travel Channel, and the "Today" show. It has helped more than 30,000 homeowners and real estate agents stage their properties since it was founded in 1986.
Through Showhomes, customers can choose from a variety of services including vacant home staging, owner-occupied staging, home restyling, and home updating. Showhomes also offers a very unique service model: home manager staging.
Clients’ vacant homes will not only be staged with furniture and decor items; a home manager will actually live in and care for the home until it sells. According to Showhomes, this arrangement is not only financially beneficial (as the home manager will pay a monthly fee, or “rent,” while they live there) but it improves the look and marketability of the property as well.
The cost of staging with Showhomes varies based on the size and style of the home, the number of rooms to be styled, and whether the home will be vacant, owner-occupied, or home manager-occupied. Pricing can also vary from one locale to another, as Showhome locations are franchised. Home staging costs can be deferred until the home sells, however, helping homeowners avoid an upfront, out-of-pocket expense.
Showhomes is only in 19 states as of January 2021, but the company opens new franchises on a regular basis.
Best Luxury Home Staging: Meridith Baer Home
Why We Chose It: This company offers home staging services for a variety of properties, but specializes in luxury and high-end homes. It maintains large warehouses full of furniture and decor inventory in three states, and provides services to clients across the nation.
Available to stage all property types, from luxury estates to cottages and lofts (and everything in between)
Services offered nationwide
MBH stages an average of 185 homes a month, with many selling in less than 30 days
The company maintains more than 300,000 square feet of warehouse space, full of furniture and decor items
More expensive than the average home staging service
Based in California, Meridith Baer Home was accidentally founded in 1998, after Baer moved her belongings into a friend’s for-sale home to help potential buyers visualize the space. The home sold almost immediately, and a new service was born.
Though Meridith Baer Home stages any type of property, it specializes in dealing with luxury properties and estates. The company has warehouses in three states but offers staging services across the country. MBH also offers interior design and luxury furniture leasing.
The cost for staging a home varies according to the property itself, square footage, the number of rooms, style, how long furniture is rented, etc. The expense, however, may be worth it for higher-value homes with a larger asking price.
Best Virtual Staging: Stuccco
Why We Chose It: As an affordable alternative to in-person home staging, Stuccco offers low-cost virtual staging images with a quick turnaround and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Low-cost virtual staging for $29 per image
Turnaround of 24 hours or less
Will revise photos or refund the purchase if unhappy, for up to 60 days
Additional services include removing existing furniture from images, reimagining landscaping, and design concepts
Won’t replace true home staging for in-person showings
Only two revision rounds offered
Home staging can be incredibly beneficial for selling a home, as it helps buyers better visualize themselves in the space. Since most home-buying searches begin online, though, virtual staging can sometimes be an acceptable—and much more affordable—option.
With Stuccco, homeowners and real estate agents can digitally stage a property for a fraction of the cost of true home staging. Images cost only $29 each, with staged results delivered in 24 hours or less. All designs come with a 60-day guarantee and up to two free rounds of revisions; if you’re still not happy with the result after that period, Stuccco will refund the price you paid.
Another benefit to Stuccco virtual staging is that it can be done for any home, anywhere in the country. Stuccco will also digitally remove any existing furniture from images and can help with design, offering everything from exterior and landscape design to paint color changes, decor concepts, and full renovation design.
Best Luxury Home Virtual Staging: Barion Design
Why We Chose It: Barion Design’s team of designers and graphic artists can transform photos of your home into luxurious and professionally staged spaces that are more likely to draw in buyers.
Virtual staging that looks realistic
Primarily stages high-end properties, and is familiar with the aesthetic necessary to properly stage luxury homes
Pricing is a flat rate per photo, and is not based on the cost of the home
Team consists of highly trained graphic designers and home staging experts
Restyling and furniture replacement available
May be cost-prohibitive for larger properties
Design process isn’t as quick as other virtual services
Barion Design has personally and virtually staged more than 50,000 luxury homes across the United States since its founding in 2005, helping to entice buyers and create an emotional attachment to properties that are for sale. The team is composed of both experienced graphic designers and staging experts who work together to ensure that your home’s virtual staging is not only aesthetic but seamless.
After a design consult, Barion Design’s team will work to virtually stage each desired area of your home for about 10% of what it would cost to traditionally stage. Pricing is based on a flat rate per photo, but can run as much as $900 per image. This is notably more expensive than the average virtual staging company—and the finished product typically takes longer to receive—but the results tend to speak for themselves.
Since Barion Design’s services can be entirely virtual, the company can digitally stage homes anywhere in the country. It also offers restyle and renovation design services, as well as digital staging with furniture removal or updating.
Home staging services are an excellent way to market a home and even improve the likelihood of successfully finding a buyer. Home staging can be done in-person by utilizing the owner’s own belongings, renting furniture and decor from a professional staging company, or a blend of the two.
Virtual home staging is a more modern option that provides instant results for a fraction of the cost. While virtual staging won’t affect in-person showings of the home, it can draw buyers in with realistic photo renderings that make rooms look professionally decorated. On average, staging a home results in a faster sale at a higher price tag, making the investment well worth it for many sellers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Home Staging Company?
A home staging company is a business that serves to stage or temporarily furnish and decorate a property, often before it goes up for sale. Home staging companies may also extend decorating and design services to homeowners. By staging a home rather than showing it vacant and empty, sellers can make the property feel more appealing and relatable to potential buyers.
Should Everyone Selling a Home Use a Home Staging Company?
Unstaged homes successfully sell every day and in every market, so staging a property isn’t an absolute necessity. However, data regularly shows that staged homes sell quicker and at a higher price than their unstaged counterparts, making home staging a worthwhile cost for many sellers.
How Much Do Home Staging Companies Charge?
Home staging companies often charge according to how many rooms will be staged, the square footage of those rooms, and the style/type of furniture and decor needed. These factors, along with location and even housing market trends, can considerably impact the price of home staging services. Sellers report spending around $1,500 for staging three rooms and as much as $10,000 or more for staging a full home with furniture rental. Virtual staging services typically run between $20 and $30 per image for a digitally staged rendering.
How We Chose the Best Home Staging Companies
We researched more than 20 companies in the home staging space and evaluated them based on factors such as company history, price, customer reviews, options offered, service area, and more. We then narrowed down our list to the companies above as the best options for physically staging a home or doing so virtually.