A skilled home stager boosts buyers’ desire, but what’s it like working with a home…
Depending on your experiences, and which stagers you’ve met in the past, home staging pricing can seem mysterious and all over the place. Homeowners and real estate agents alike often must assess proposals that are far from apples to apples in scope. We want to clarify what’s driving the differences, and also walk you through what our home staging pricing includes.
Although home staging has been around for decades, it’s not a service that’s regulated. There are no set standards for what “staging” includes—and sometimes we think that there are almost as many approaches as there are stagers!
So how do you evaluate home staging pricing and proposals?
There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes in a full-service staging project. Here are the key details that we take into account, and how to understand if the quotes you’re getting factor in what’s necessary for your project’s success:
First, be sure you’re looking at comparable services.
- Ask the stagers to describe their vision for the scope of your home’s makeover. Find out what your stager believes is necessary, along with what insights and experience they’re using to make that recommendation.
- Ask for a scope of work—a summary of what you can expect to be done. Some projects simply require décor and organizing tips, others demand more. Yours might require full-service teams with extensive inventory of both furniture and decorative items from artwork and rugs to pillows and floral arrangements.
Understand the level of expertise you’re getting
- What skills are your staging team bringing to your home sale?
- What is their track record? (Especially in today’s competitive market, it’s helpful to look at the Return on Investment they’ve been able to achieve. Ask how many clients close above list — especially higher than neighborhood comps.)
- How up-to-date are they in their certifications and continuing education? The market is shifting quickly, and getting the best results means investing to stay up on the cutting edge of trends.
Is the staging team made up of professionals?
Any time you have people in your home, you want to be sure you have some assurance that they’re trustworthy. Teams must be professional, trained and responsible. So, when you review home staging pricing, ask about important details like:
- General Liability insurance (essential for everyone’s safety—and, for homeowners and real estate agents, confidence as the team goes in and out of homes!).
- Workman’s Compensation.
- Employees that are being paid a fair wage, above minimum, and who have been hired and trained by the company to maintain quality control. (Some hire outside movers, which makes it difficult to ensure consistency, among other things.)
Bear in mind that home staging pricing also has to cover overhead costs. Professionalism is as important in assuring clients’ and realtors’ peace of mind as it is in protecting the staging company. Consider:
- Investments in ongoing replacement inventory. As you can imagine, even carefully-treated furniture and décor begins to show wear as homes are toured, and items are packed and unpacked. Making sure a home shows to best advantage requires a quality look.
- Fuel prices (trucks burn far more fuel than your basic SUV!).
- Annual rent increases for warehouse/storage space.
The goal of staging should be to increase your ROI
When all is said and done, comparing home staging quotes isn’t about the cost, it’s about the investment. It’s the result you, your stager and real estate professional believe you’ll get in terms of offer price and speed.
We’re proud that we consistently achieve eye-opening, high-return results for our clients, but those results require more than just pretty design; and they definitely involve more than a snap of our fingers!
Each client’s return on investment—literally how much more they make on the sale than they invested in the staging—is what defines our success as staging professionals. We believe it’s in everyone’s best interests for us to be strategic in our recommendations. Some projects are best handled by a simple consultation session and color advice.
But when the project demands it, our team has the skills and inventory to be able to roll up its sleeves and transform the most critical areas of a home into a magazine-style property that a wide array of buyers are eager to compete for.
From initial consultation and design, to furniture and décor move-in and move-out, plus tidying up after ourselves, staging is hard work! And when you factor in the planning and staging inventory selection, plus carrying, unwrapping and rewrapping items, staging projects can require anywhere from 50-70 hours to complete, often with a team of 3-6 people.
It’s the kind of hard work we love—because there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing our clients’ joy when they close well over list.
When reviewing home staging pricing, one of the most important factors can’t be tallied: trust. We hope you’ll give us the opportunity to earn yours, as we have so many other happy clients!