Broker's Playbook - Good For Real Estate



The Hidden Costs of Selling a Home: Who Pays for House Staging?

Table of Contents

Navigating the Canadian real estate market can be a complex process, especially for real estate agents who aim to provide the best service to their clients. One aspect that often gets overlooked, even by seasoned agents, is home staging. Understanding the hidden costs, particularly those associated with staging, can make a significant difference in the selling experience and final sale price for your clients.

Home staging in Canada is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal is to make the home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling the property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product. However, many real estate agents and their clients misunderstand home staging, thinking it's merely interior decoration. In reality, it's a marketing strategy designed to showcase the home's best features and potential.

The Costs of Home Staging

The Costs of Home Staging

The cost of home staging varies widely across Canada, depending on the size of the home, the extent of the staging, and the market conditions. On average, professional home staging can cost between $1500 and $5000. This typically includes a consultation, minor repairs, and the rental of furniture and decor to stage key rooms. For instance, a recent case in Toronto saw a homeowner spend $2300 on staging, which significantly boosted the home's market appeal, more than covering the cost of the staging with its overall final sale price.

In the Canadian real estate market, the cost of home staging is typically borne by the seller. This is because staging is seen as an investment that can enhance the home's appeal, expedite the sale, and potentially increase the final sale price. Sellers often view this expense as a strategic move that can yield significant returns, making it a worthwhile investment.

However, it's not always the seller who shoulders the entire cost. In some instances, a real estate agent may choose to cover the cost of staging as part of their marketing strategy. This is more common when agents have a high confidence in their ability to sell the property quickly and at a good price, and they view staging as a tool to achieve this goal. The cost of staging then becomes a part of the agent's investment in marketing the property.

There are also situations where the cost of staging is shared between the seller and the agent. This usually happens when both parties see the value in staging the home but want to mitigate the financial risk involved. The specifics of this arrangement, including the percentage each party pays, are typically outlined in a written agreement to avoid any confusion or disputes later on.

Why Real Estate Agents Should Advocate for Staging

Home staging has become an increasingly popular strategy in the Canadian real estate market, and for good reason. The benefits of staging a home extend beyond aesthetics; it's a powerful marketing tool that can significantly influence a buyer's perception and decision-making process.

One of the primary reasons agents should advocate for staging is the potential for a higher sale price. According to the Real Estate Staging Association of Canada, staged homes can sell for up to 10% more than their non-staged counterparts. This increase can be attributed to the enhanced appeal of a well-staged home, which can help prospective buyers visualize the property as their own and perceive greater value in it.

In addition to potentially boosting the sale price, staging can also expedite the selling process. Staged homes tend to sell faster, reducing the time a home spends on the market. This is particularly beneficial in a competitive market where time is of the essence. A quicker sale can save homeowners from additional mortgage payments, property taxes, and other carrying costs associated with owning a home.

Advice for Real Estate Agents

Advice for Real Estate Agents

For real estate agents, effective communication is key when discussing home staging with clients. Agents should be prepared to explain the benefits of home staging, using clear examples and data to support their points. For instance, they can share statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association of Canada, which shows that staged homes can sell for up to 10% more than non-staged homes.

Agents can also share success stories or case studies where home staging has led to a higher selling price or a quicker sale. These tangible examples can help clients understand the potential return on their investment.


Understanding who pays for home staging is a key aspect of the home-selling process in Canada. It's an investment that can significantly increase the final sale price and reduce the time a home spends on the market. Both homeowners and real estate agents can benefit from a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of home staging, leading to a more successful and profitable home-selling experience for all parties involved.