DIY vs. Professional Staging: What’s Better for NYC Sellers

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Cost is most often the primary consideration when making a choice between Do It Yourself (DIY) or professional staging. However, another factor to consider is how strongly staging can impact the sales process.

If it allows you to recoup your investment by allowing you to sell at a good price (significantly above your most discounted price) or it helps you sell faster, then spending a few thousand dollars on professional staging may be worth it.

Staging home matters. It’s endorsed (on a country level) by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and about 58% of buyer’s agents stated that staging impacted how buyers perceive the property. It’s a significant step up from a former (2021) poll, where 40% of buyer’s agents said that. However, the distinction between DIY staging and professional staging is less clear.

Professional Staging

Based on the size of your apartment/home, professional staging can set you back anywhere between $5,000 and three to five times that. This may cover complete staging, including furniture or decoration elements like paintings and “de-staging” before handing the property to the seller.

Some staging companies also include the transportation cost for staging props, while others may ask sellers to cover these additional costs. But they also bring their experience and understanding of the market into the staging process and may prepare your property based on what buyers in any given market are looking for.

Unlike decluttering and deep cleaning, which can only help you highlight the fundamental strengths of your property, professional staging can actually transform it (visually) to make it more appealing for the buyers. This includes changing the layout, like turning a small office into another bedroom to make it more attractive for families and organizing the closets.

The goal of a staging professional or a staging company is to present your home in a way that increases its appeal to most potential buyers. In some cases, professional staging just makes more sense.

For example, if you have already moved to your new place, it may be difficult for most potential buyers to envision living in the empty property you are now showing. Professional staging can help many potential buyers envision how the space might look when it’s occupied in the best possible light (good use of layout).

DIY Staging

DIY staging is a cost-effective way of preparing your property for potential buyers. You can make a significant difference by following the best staging practices and avoiding common staging mistakes.

A fresh coat of paint, adding some curtains, creating a good flow, infusing the place with natural light, and depersonalizing may help you set the place up quite well for potential buyers. You can go a step further and look into the latest buying trends.

Sometimes, it’s even more cost-effective to buy or rent furniture to stage a place than hiring professional staging companies, but that’s only recommended if you have a good sense of or adequate knowledge of staging.

What’s The Better Choice For You

Staging, whether professional or DIY, has its limitations. It cannot help you hide fundamental flaws like structural problems or inherent weaknesses like location or lack of amenities. These factors may influence the price far more than staging.

So, if you know that buyers would gladly pay top dollar for your place just because of the location or view it offers, a DIY staging might suffice. However, if you are trying to sell fast in a buyer’s market, professional staging might be worth looking into.

The right answer will depend upon your factors and the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the property.

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