What You Should Know and Consider when Choosing a Home Stager
What most people do not realize is that the real estate staging industry is an unregulated industry with no licensing requirements or government oversight.
Unfortunately this has caused many stay-home moms and others who think that they have an eye for decorating to move into this business without any training or in-depth knowledge about home staging. Staging homes for sale is a serious business and should not be taken light shouldered, just like sometimes home sellers get an inspection before listing the property for serious reasons such as not wanting to lose out on money because of defects.
After all you are selling your most valuable asset. Do you really want to trust the packaging of your most valuable asset with someone who has never been trained, does not have the experience and does not have the knowledge and a real understanding of the depth of staging your house properly?
Remember, staging is more than just making a space look pretty – it is the showcasing, packaging, marketing, it is lifestyle merchandising! Don’t leave the marketing part up to amateurs.
Here are some tips on how to choose a home stager that is right for your house:
Training and Experience
- Is the stager certified in specifically staging houses for sale? Interior designers often offer staging services, but have not been trained in staging. Staging a house for sale and designing for living are two completely different things and also have two completely different processes. Designing a house for living is all about your own taste, whereas staging for selling is about knowing and understanding the buyers and being able to translate this into a meaningful staging design. Designers may make you over-spend as they do not think in terms of buyers.
- Ask how the stager is keeping up to date with staging trends and new techniques. Over the past 2 years the staging industry did undergo a big change in the staging techniques. More successful and effective techniques have emerged.
- Is the stager staging full time, or is this just something they are doing on the side? This provides you a good sense of experience and dedication as well as availability for your needs.
Aesthetic and Portfolio
- Ask if all portfolio photos represent the stager’s own work
- Does their portfolio show a wide variety of styles.
- Does the stager show many different properties or are the photos all from one and the same house?
- Make sure that not all staging designs look the same.
- Look out whether accessories, artwork, additional lighting and rugs are being added – they are key to good staging designs.
- The overall design sense of the stager.
- If your real estate agent offers staging services ask for their before & after photos of their own staging work.
- When checking out websites, don’t be mislead by the home page. Often the entry page looks very beautiful – then click on the portfolio and check if the portfolio pictures hold up the same quality of aesthetics. If not, you might question if the front page photos are stock photos and do not represent the stagers own work and the quality you will be receiving.
- Ensure that the portfolio shows a “TRUE PORTFOLIO endorsed by RESA” logo. If this logo appears on the website the stager has to conform to the Real Estate Staging Association’s code of ethic to only show the stager’s own work.
Don’t have you being mislead by cheap prices. Hiring a less expensive stager does not guarantee that you will save money. A cheap home stager, who cuts the fees just to get the job, will have to save on his/her end to get the job done. This means that you will receive less furniture, less accessories, less service and especially also less experience resulting in a longer time on the market. Longer time on the market on the other hand means for you more tax, utilities, maintenance, insurance, mortgage and other charges, which can amount in thousands of dollars a month.
Make sure you are being given a clearly written contract where you understand all aspects. Ask for clarification if needed.
Ask for past clients references that include numbers and/or email addresses and check those references.
Ask for proof of liability insurance. Don’t take chances!
Also, trust your instincts! With a bad staging you risk to leave money on the table. Having the right partner for your staging needs can be the answer for your real estate selling success.
We wish you a great home selling experience!
©Copyright – Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, LLC