Home Staging Cost Is A Taxable Deduction

The cost of hiring a Certified Home Stager can be used as a tax deduction. In today's economy, we need every deduction we can find to recoup from our 2009 losses. After researching the IRS Publication 523 for an exact statement explaining this question, I found that home sellers can write off selling expenses such as (commissions, advertising, which would includes home staging, legal fees and loan charges or points). With that said, a staging consultation is not a taxable deduction. You must advertise the fact either through your Real Estate Agent or by publicly announcing that your home has been Professionally staged. 

The cost of staging your home to sell varies due to your homes sq footage and if your home stager is hired for 1/2 a day or a full day.  Color consultations for painting, sugggested hardware and light fixtures to full remodeling can be included in your service. No matter what your selling price is, the current real estate market demands a move-in ready home to entice buyers and increase the overall appeal of your home.

For more information on home selling tax deductions go to: http://www.irs.gov/pub/ir ... /p523.pdf

  • April 12 2010 - Grayslake
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (16)

Hey setup, welcome to zillow.  Policy here says we do not include advertising info on the advice entries themselves.  Here is a link to the policy.  So, don't advertise your website on the entry.  And, don't worry, when people read good advice, they check the poster's profile and fequently make direct contact via the info on the website.

That is fascinating.  I shall check it.  But, to go directly to a question - I do a lot of vacant staging for local investors.  Does the tax break apply only to primary residences?  Or do you think it also applies to clients who sell or rent houses professionally?

Again, welcome to zillow.
  • April 13 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
If the properties are investments, then costs-to-sell should be able to be listed as investment expenses and used to offset the capital gain. When I sold property, I was able to deduct all selling costs - just make sure to keep good records.

p.s. I don't really think the OP meant "taxable deduction", but "tax deduction".
  • April 13 2010
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Thank you Nancy, I will remember that for future blogs. Answer to your question is "yes", investors that stage their property are also included in the tax deduction.
p.s. I don't know what OP stands for but you are correct for editing my grammar, I did mean tax deduction. 
  • April 14 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
OP stands for "original poster". Have a great day and welcome to Zillow :)
  • April 14 2010
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Profile picture for jimstarwalt
Hi Setup, Nice post! I will remember to advertise the fact the home was professionally staged so my clients can claim the expense on their tax return, I will also be sure to let them know to keep the listing sheet as proof! Jim
  • December 27 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Okay, post is old,, but...

"You must advertise the fact either through your Real Estate Agent or by publicly announcing that your home has been Professionally staged."

Where is that in the tax code? You don't have to advertise the listing agreement, but you still get to deduct commissions. If the house was staged and you incurred a charge, and the staging was for the purpose of selling the house, then you should have a receipt and be good-to-go.
  • December 27 2010
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Profile picture for jimstarwalt
Agreed! But it sure will help to have the receipts and show the listing as additional proof!
  • December 27 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
LOL...the only thing making sure to include "Professionally Staged" in the listing is to advertise the services of professional stagers.

Personally, I wouldn't want to advertise that. It sounds too much like...
 
"Hey, I had to pay someone money to make it look like you can actually live in it. Sure hope your furniture fits just like this stuff that I never used while I lived here."
  • December 27 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Professionally staged for a house is a lot like adverting new paint on a car. Whenever I see new paint I always wonder how bad it looked before it was painted. It had to be real bad right? is professional staging any different? It was real bad so they had to hire someone to make it look alright?
  • December 27 2010
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Unfortunately Dan, what many do not understand is that your house doesn't have to look real bad to benefit from professional home staging.  Stagers improve many things that someone "living" in the home no longer sees or was never aware because it worked for "them".  But, now it's time to sell and the home needs to appeal to many others.  Would you go out on a first date wearing your worst knock around dirty clothes and hair that looks like something out of the '80's?  Your "house for sale" is that first date.  Market it wisely unless you don't care whether it sells a year from now or never.

In response to the tax deduction, I heard that the house needs to sell in the same year that it was staged in order to write off the expense of staging.
  • January 06 2011
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Profile picture for jimstarwalt
I have a staher that I pay for! It is incredible how a professional can make a home show so much better. Homes are seloing fast now! But only the best homes at a competetive price. My hats off to the pros! I can market and negotiate your home better than anyone, but i just don't have the same skills for staging, so I know when to hire out!
  • August 08 2012
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Definitely good to know! Thanks for the info. 
  • July 05 2013
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Profile picture for Tyler Tapley
Contact your accountant before hand just to make sure.
  • July 05 2013
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Michelle, I really liked your analogy!
  • April 22
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Good information here, but like Tyler noted above, ALWAYS consult with your CPA for tax advice and attorneys for legal advice. 
  • April 22
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For anyone you has doubts about the benefits of staging ask the sellers themselves that have savvy agents that includes staging as part of their marketing plan. Heck ask the agents too! I guarantee they will say their home sold in 3 weeks or less for top dollar. 

 When you go shopping  for whatever it is that you want, products are placed on the shelf  looking shiny and new, packaged attractively, and priced right for what the product is. Not all homes are shiny and new, never lived in homes.With that being said would you pay top dollar for a item that is dirty, dusty, smells, looks used and abused at Goodwill? Or would you pay top dollar for a item that looks well taken care of and practically new? Buyers will pay more for a well cared for, updated, ready to live in home and pay every penny being asked for it, sometimes more. Buying a home is peoples largest investment and with dual working spouses, busy family lives, and living in a world of instant gratification people want "Move In Ready Homes". They don't have the time or energy to replace dirty carpet, repaint over crazy colored walls, replace fixtures, update this and that. Save that for the investors! Need more proof then asking the Sellers, Buyers, and Agents? Go to RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) website. National statistical data is gathered from all over the nation about staging. The proof is in the stats! I.E. "Staged homes sell 87% faster with a 586% return on investment". "Only 10 % of buyers can visualize space", 64% of Buyers pay more for staged homes, "Staged homes sell within the first 4 weeks for 1 % MORE than unstaged homes" The stats go on and on.

 Staging is not just about placing furniture in a vacant home for frame of reference or making it looks pretty, its about addressing and resolving all possible buyers objections that gives buyers the leverage to ask for thousands of dollars off the asking price. Once staged, buyers have very little to no room to bicker on the price. As a matter of fact they are happy to pay full price if not more for staged homes. Smart, business minded agents are no longer considering staging a option but a must have in their marketing package because not only does it put more money in the seller's pocket making them look like a hero, but placing more money in the agent's bank account as well as giving the buyers a great product worth every penny. Its a win, win for everyone! Ok.. as far as tax deduction goes, it depends on the state. Be sure to ask your tax accountant.
  • November 12
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