Cost to Stage a Home in Indianapolis

Updated June 15, 2021
living room, home staging
Staging a home will help highlight a room's best features. (Photo courtesy of It's Simply Staging & Redesign)

Raise your hand if you want to sell your house quickly, and for top dollar. The secret is in the home staging.

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Home staging is the process of decluttering, depersonalizing, and arranging furniture in a house to showcase it in the best possible light.

“Staging has become more popular in the last 10 years because of HGTV, and also the fact that people realize a move-in ready home sells faster and looks better online,” says Emily Brenner, owner of Stage It in Fishers, Indiana. “Staging is a great tool to help the homeowner and Realtor make sure the house is ready for showings.”

There are a number of factors that determine the price of home staging, such as how much of the owner’s items need to be moved, how much inventory (furniture, accessories) is required, how many man-hours it will take.

“Each house is different, and there is no way to determine pricing unless there has been a pre-staging viewing of the house,” Brenner says, adding that typical home staging costs can range from a $200, two-hour consultation to several days and several thousand dollars. “I’d say the average is around $1,000.”

Professional home stagers are also typically available to hire for consultation, averaging $100 an hour in Indianapolis.

How do the home staging costs break down?

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are professionally staged spend 72 percent less time on the market.

“Central Indiana home sellers are increasingly coming to see the value in home staging,” says Denise Kramer, owner of It’s Simply Staging & Redesign in Indianapolis. “One of the biggest challenges is getting [the seller] to no longer think of it as ‘their’ home. The changes the home stager suggests are to make the home attractive to the largest amount of potential buyers.”

For an occupied staging — in which the homeowner is still living in the house and plans to use his or her own items — Kramer says she charges $150 for an initial consultation and written report detailing what the home should look like and how to make it so. If the client chooses to hire her company to execute the staging, it’s $450 for a half-day’s work, or $795 for the full day.

For a vacant staging — where the house is empty and in need of furniture and accessories — Kramer says her fee typically runs between $1,250 and $1,750.

“The staging fee now includes measuring the home, designing the room layouts, choosing and packing the items, transportation and settin up of all the furniture,” she says. “Then once the home is sold, all the items must be packed up, transported and returned to inventory.”

A monthly rental fee for furniture can run between $250 and $500.

“You have to invest a little to get more bang for your buck,” says Julie Snider, owner of Redefining Spaces in Indianapolis. “You can spend $500 on staging, and that will be less than the first price reduction that you’ll have to do in a month because your house has been sitting on the market.”

Snider says she charges $75 for a 60- to 90-minute consultation in which she offers homeowners suggestions on decluttering, repairs, furniture arranging and paint colors. After that, she charges $60 to $65 an hour to help pack, move items or prepare a house to show.

“I highly recommend a consultation for anyone selling a house to get a game plan, a to-do list, and figure out what needs to be done to sell the home,” she says.

bedroom, home staging

Why hire a professional home stager?

Homeowners tend to become emotionally attached to their surroundings, while at the same time overlooking the flaws. Hiring someone with a discerning eye can be an advantage.

“We, as professionals, walk through your home documenting what repairs need to be addressed, items to be utilized or removed, and what potential new items need to be incorporated to make sure [you] show off your home’s assets,” says Shelli Biberstein, owner of Integrity Design & Remodeling in Indianapolis, who charges a consultation fee of $100 an hour.

Hiring a home stager can also help give your property a leg up on the competition. Autumn Janowski, owner of Home Matters on Indianapolis’ Westside, says she would be concerned about a real estate agent who didn’t mention staging as a part of the plan to sell a home.

“That’s very different from even five years ago,” she says, adding that her typical staging costs range from $1,200 to $2,200. “I think that Realtors have come to incorporate staging as part of a successful marketing of a home.”

Rita Woll, owner of Complete Relocation Solutions in Carmel, Indiana, says her objective eye helps homeowners downsize and eliminate the clutter.

“I’d say home staging is essential if the home seller wants to sell their home in a timely manner,” she says.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on April 10, 2015.

Have you worked with a home stager? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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