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DIY vs. Professional Home Staging: Which Sells Faster?

When it comes to selling a home, presentation is key. Home staging is the process of preparing a property for sale by making it more appealing to potential buyers. It involves decluttering, rearranging furniture, and adding decorative touches to create a welcoming and attractive space. While some homeowners choose to tackle this task themselves, others opt to hire professional home stagers. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of DIY home staging versus hiring a professional, and determine which option is more likely to result in a faster sale.

1. Cost

One of the primary factors that homeowners consider when deciding between DIY home staging and hiring a professional is the cost involved. DIY home staging is generally more budget-friendly, as it eliminates the need to pay for professional services. Homeowners can save money by using their own furniture and decor items, or by purchasing affordable pieces to enhance the space. On the other hand, hiring a professional home stager can be quite expensive, as their fees can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size and complexity of the project.


  • John, a homeowner on a tight budget, decides to take on the task of staging his home himself. He spends a weekend decluttering, rearranging furniture, and adding some fresh flowers and artwork to enhance the space. The total cost of his DIY home staging project is minimal, consisting only of a few new decorative items he purchased.
  • Sarah, another homeowner, decides to hire a professional home stager to ensure her property looks its best. She pays a fee of $1,500 for the services, which includes furniture rental, decor items, and the stager’s expertise in creating an appealing atmosphere.

2. Expertise

Professional home stagers have extensive experience and knowledge in creating spaces that appeal to potential buyers. They understand the psychology of homebuyers and know how to highlight a property’s best features while downplaying any flaws. They have a keen eye for design and can transform a space into a magazine-worthy showcase. DIY home staging, on the other hand, relies on the homeowner’s personal taste and design skills. While some homeowners may have a natural talent for decorating, others may struggle to create a cohesive and appealing look.

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  • Emily, a professional home stager, has been in the industry for over a decade. She knows exactly how to arrange furniture to maximize space and flow, and she understands the importance of creating focal points in each room. Emily uses her expertise to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in the homes she stages, which often leads to faster sales.
  • Mark, a homeowner with no prior experience in home staging, attempts to stage his property himself. Despite his best efforts, the end result lacks the polish and attention to detail that a professional stager would provide. Potential buyers are less impressed with the presentation, resulting in a longer time on the market.

3. Time and Effort

Home staging can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. DIY home staging requires homeowners to invest their own time and effort into preparing the property for sale. This includes decluttering, cleaning, rearranging furniture, and adding decorative touches. Depending on the size of the property and the extent of the staging required, this can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Hiring a professional home stager frees up the homeowner’s time and allows them to focus on other aspects of the selling process.


  • Anna, a homeowner with a busy schedule, decides to hire a professional home stager to save time and effort. She can focus on marketing her property and coordinating viewings, while the stager takes care of all the staging details. This streamlined approach allows Anna to sell her home quickly and efficiently.
  • Michael, another homeowner, chooses to tackle the home staging process himself. He spends every evening and weekend for a month decluttering, cleaning, and arranging furniture. While he eventually achieves a beautifully staged home, the time and effort invested take away from other important tasks related to the sale.
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4. Market Knowledge

Professional home stagers have a deep understanding of the real estate market and the preferences of potential buyers. They stay up-to-date with current design trends and know what features and styles are in demand. This knowledge allows them to tailor the staging to appeal to the target market and increase the chances of a quick sale. DIY home stagers may not have the same level of market knowledge and may inadvertently create a space that does not resonate with potential buyers.


  • Julia, a professional home stager, specializes in staging properties in a trendy urban neighborhood. She knows that potential buyers in this area are looking for modern, minimalist designs with clean lines and neutral colors. Julia incorporates these elements into her staging, resulting in a high level of buyer interest and a fast sale.
  • David, a homeowner attempting DIY home staging, is not aware of the current design trends in his area. He chooses to decorate his home in a traditional style, which does not align with the preferences of potential buyers in his neighborhood. As a result, his property sits on the market for an extended period.

5. Flexibility

DIY home staging offers homeowners the flexibility to make changes and adjustments as needed. They can experiment with different furniture arrangements, decor items, and color schemes until they find the perfect combination. This flexibility allows homeowners to showcase their personal style and create a space that feels like home. Professional home stagers, on the other hand, may have a more rigid approach and follow a specific formula that has proven successful in the past. While this formula may work for many properties, it may not always align with the homeowner’s vision.


  • Emma, a homeowner with a strong design background, enjoys the flexibility of DIY home staging. She can easily switch out furniture pieces, add personal touches, and experiment with different styles until she achieves the desired look. This flexibility allows her to create a unique and memorable space that stands out to potential buyers.
  • Robert, another homeowner, hires a professional home stager who follows a specific staging formula. While the stager’s approach is effective in creating a neutral and universally appealing space, it lacks the personal touch that Robert was hoping for. He feels that the staging does not fully reflect his style and personality, which may impact the emotional connection potential buyers feel towards the property.
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When it comes to home staging, both DIY and professional options have their advantages and disadvantages. DIY home staging is more cost-effective and allows homeowners to showcase their personal style, but it requires time, effort, and design skills. Hiring a professional home stager can be expensive, but it offers expertise, market knowledge, and a streamlined process. Ultimately, the decision between DIY and professional home staging depends on the homeowner’s budget, available time, and desired level of expertise. By carefully considering these factors, homeowners can make an informed choice that will help them sell their property faster.

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