Sellers normally pay for Home Staging services.
Because Home Staging is a powerful selling tool, I encourage sellers to view Home Staging as an investment on their ultimate profit, rather than viewing it as an expense.
Think about this: if you are carrying the costs associated with owning a home while on the market, such as mortgage, property taxes, home owner's insurance, fuel, electricity, interior and exterior maintenance (think mowing and/or snow removal), that adds up. Add in price reductions (many times unnecessary if Staged properly to begin with), and the cost of Home Staging is small compared to the costs associated with carrying the home from month to month while it's on the market.
I know of homes that are still sitting on the market today that have been listed for well over five (tha'ts right, 5) years! Many of these homes require Home Staging, but sadly, many homeowners haven't been informed of this powerful selling tool by their realtors, and many believe it's "too expensive". From the statistics I see, it's more expensive not to Stage. It's unfortunate that some realtors dismiss Home Staging as the powerful selling tool it is, while at the same time advising sellers to reduce the price (sometimes again and again, rendering the seller's house a "tire kicker"). The cost of Home Staging is significantly less than the first price reduction. First price reductions are normally $5,000. It only goes downhill from there.
Also consider this: many times, after a home has been Staged (or if it's Staged before listing) it can command a higher price because Home Staging adds value to the home. It appears to buyers as "move-in ready" and looks good in media print and on the MLS. It other words, it shows well.
Home Staging Consultations are a less expensive way to get your home in show-room condition when budget considerations are a worry. Instead of the Home Stager doing the actual Home Staging project, she recommends changes and updates to the sellers and the sellers do the project themselves. Some Stagers (including me) offer a complimentary tweaking of the major deal breaker areas: Kitchen, Bathroom(s) and Dining Area.
If you want to sell your home faster, Stage it!
Set the Scene! Home Staging