I just googled around and came across a local home stager who is using my youtube video/s on Google Places to attract traffic to her own business. Why would someone do that – the only reason I can think of is that she needs to get a superior look than her work actually is in order to get business. While I am flattered that she “chose” my work, this is completely unethical. To clarify, this stager is not a RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) Member, in which case she would be held accountable for showing someone else’s portfolio as her own work.
What does this mean for the consumer?
The Real Estate Home Staging industry is an unregulated industry. There is no independent national organization that certifies home stagers. Therefore, it is even more important as a client to educate yourself about the stager you are considering to hire – after all you are trusting this person’s advise with your single most valuable asset. Here are some important tips about how to hire a home stager:
- Look for a staging professional with great competency and professionalism, rather than the cheapest price
- Does the stager belong to a reputable national self-regulating organization? The largest such organization is the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) – the designation RESA-PRO™ indicates that this stager is not a “hobby” home stager. A RESA-PRO™ home stager is a dedicated home stager that is held to the highest standards of business, ethics and integrity. RESA-PRO™ Designees have also agreed to the RESA-PRO™ Code of Ethics.
- Ask about their training and experience
- Ask for how long has the stager been in business
- Take a look at their website
- Ask to see their portfolio with Before & After photos – specifically ask if this is work that they have done themselves
- Staging Style – make sure that not all staging installations look the same. Staging is marketing and thus it needs to be tailored to the property, local style, target demographic – and not to appeal to the masses
- Ask about insurance coverage
- Make sure that the professional is working full time as a Home Stager to be available for your needs.
- Ensure that you are being given a clearly written contract and that you understand all aspects of the contract
- Ask how they are keeping up-to-date with new staging trends
- Make sure you understand the general process the company has implemented.
- Probe to see if the stager has a marketing concept behind their staging design to sell YOUR house (what design strategy they use to make the house stand out from the competition)
Now that you have selected the right home stager for you and your needs, relax for a faster sale at the top dollar.