Hiring a Home Stager
What to Look for and Questions to Ask...
If You Need More Help
Hiring a home stager is a smart thing to do if for some reason you can't stage your own home for sale.
your home will increase its value and give you an advantage over the competition. Your home will outshine other comparable homes, and if priced right, will sell faster, frequently at a higher price.
If you decide to hire a home stager, the best time to talk to one is when you first start thinking about selling your home. It will save you lots of work and money in the long run. A great stager will understand who your potential buyer is and what they want.
They will know:
- What color to paint the walls
- Whether hardware and light fixtures need replacing
- What kind of cabinetry and floors will most appeal to the future owner
- How to make the outside just as inviting as the inside
- What kind of furniture will most appeal to the buyer and how to arrange it
- Which colors will generate the most excitement
- What kind of art to use and where to hang it for maximum impact, and
- What accents to add in order to engage all the buyer’s senses and get their imagination rolling with the vision of their perfect life in this new home.
What Should a Homeowner Expect From Their Stager?
If you consider hiring a home stager at the very beginning, and are willing to do a lot of the work yourself, it will save you money. If you specifically follow the stager's instructions and recommendations, you can get a professionally staged result for as little as the price of a staging consultation.
Many successful realtors have learned that staged properties sell faster and will provide a staging consultation for the homeowner as part of their listing agreement. When hiring a home stager for a consultation, ask them specifically what they will do for you.
You will be most successful if your stager:
- Can give you suggestions on making the entry of your home and your front and back yard as attractive as possible
- Makes recommendations for the most appealing wall colors to complement your wood-tones and architectural features
- Makes suggestions for updating cabinetry and hardware if needed
- Makes recommendations regarding replacement of carpeting and outdated flooring, if needed
- Helps you find the best furniture arrangement for each room
- Shows you exactly where to hang your artwork
- Gives you specific instructions on which items to pack and which to leave out
- Helps you “shop the house” for accessories to pull together colors and themes
- Tells you exactly how many items to use in each room and where to put them
- Shows you how to add the final touches that give a home the “model home” look
- Tells you what additional items or accessories to purchase for greatest impact
- If you have a very limited budget or if the market value of your home doesn’t allow for updating, a great stager will help you make your home look as good as possible with what you have to work with.
Your stager should be available to you by phone or email during the entire process to answer any questions. The best stagers frequently include a "fine-tune" follow-up in their consultation to make sure you’ve understood instructions and come up with the desired result.
If you’re able to begin working with a stager while you still have furniture in your home it will be most cost-effective for you.
Is Your Home Already Vacant?
If your home is already vacant or going to be vacant when you put it on the market, then hiring a home stager will probably mean paying a staging fee and a monthly furnishings rental. Unless priced very low, vacant homes take longer to sell.
You might also consider the option of buying the furnishings, as monthly rentals can add up if the market is particularly slow.
Questions to ask prior to hiring a home stager if your home is vacant:
- What does your staging fee cover?
- What specifically is included in the rental?
- Is rent pro-rated or does the homeowner have to pay for the entire month even if the house sells the first day of the rental period?
- Is there a separate fee for de-staging (removing all furnishings)?
- Is there a separate fee for transporting the furnishings (delivery and pick-up)?
- Is there a required notification period prior to de-staging and is there a penalty to the homeowner if they give less notice than required?
- Do you have insurance to cover theft of the furnishings should the house be broken into?
- Do you have liability insurance to cover damages to homeowner’s property during staging?
Your stager should present you with a letter of agreement stating exactly what they promise to do for you and specifying all the pertinent items listed above.
Read the agreement carefully and refer to it prior to de-staging to avoid potential penalties.
Before hiring a home stager, ask to see an example of their work in a portfolio of before and after pictures and don’t be too shy to ask for references.
The Results of Staging Your Home Should Be Dramatic
Master Bath Before
Master Bath After
This beautiful, high-end
felt "lived-in." Not exactly ready to put its best face forward for a buyer. The owner brought in a group of stagers who transformed it in only one day. Nothing new was bought for the home. All furnishing were found in the house and moved to locations that highlighted the best features of the home.
And the results were dramatic.
Staging Sells Homes
This website is dedicated to helping the homeowner stage their own home with tips, guidelines, ideas and suggestions to increase the value of your home and sell it faster. These methods have been used over and over, and they work.
If, however, you find that for some reason you can't do it yourself, consider a good home stager a smart investment. Beautifully staged homes sell faster, and for more money.
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