TO STAGE OR NOT TO STAGE?... THAT IS THE QUESTION...
Perhaps the better questions to ask might be, "How much time do you want to wait before your property sells?" and "How much do you want it to sell for?"
It is well known in the home staging industry that a professionally styled home will usually sell more rapidly and at a higher selling price than an unstaged (occupied) home or even one that is vacant and empty though maybe clean. But WHY?
Home Staging is, in effect, a process of "clearing the slate" so that a Buyer is able to see the home as a separate entity from the Seller. A Buyer wants to be able to envision that home as Their Perfect Home and this is often not possible when it is "full to the brim" of the Seller's tastes and preferences. In a vacant property, the empty home is devoid of creativity, function and definition; many Buyers cannot visualize the potential that lies within. Sure, we all know the function of a kitchen and bathroom, but what about that awkwardly-shaped living room? - or is it a dining room? - perhaps even a cocktail salon? And, really, what would one do with THAT MANY bedrooms?
A professional stager will "set the scene" for a Buyer to not only picture themselves but to sit down on the couch imagining enjoying a cool drink in the living room, watching a good movie or reading a favorite book in the den, working on family business in the office, and even basking in their own personal spa in the bathroom. The purpose is to create a GREAT first impression that is welcoming and draws the Buyer into the home for sale then leads them into each additional space presenting new and beautiful vistas of opportunity that would be possible with This Property.
In my experience, I have seen amazing transformations that have surprised even myself after a day of staging. The possibilities are endless and the rewards are many. Cost is dependent on each unique job as relates to number of rooms staged, size of the home, and vacant/occupied status, among other things. A professional stager should give the client an up-front estimate according to the criteria determined for the home. Again, as a result of staging, most homes sell quicker and at a higher price than would have been attained otherwise; so, the cost of staging is outweighed by the benefits, making it a very viable option.