Wondering how to choose a home stager? It all starts with asking the right questions,…
Here are the expert answers to 5 home staging questions you need to know, but may be afraid to ask.
1. How do I know if staging will really be worth it for MY home?
If you’ll be listing a vacant home, it’ll just about always be worth it. Staging on vacant homes delivers an average return on investment (ROI) of 586%!
Why is that? Time and again research has shown that buyers need staging to help them get that sense of room scale and flow that makes them able to imagine themselves happily living there. Not only do staged homes sell faster (88% faster), they sell for more (20% more).
If you’ll be selling a furnished home, or one you’re currently living in, staging becomes more important as the pool of buyers you’ll be appealing to shrinks. So, luxury homes typically see a great ROI from staging, as do houses with unusual layouts or features.
We’ve seen living rooms with windows into the primary bedroom… dining rooms divided by staircases… kitchens with battered cabinets, and many more aspects that loom large (and scary!), until re-imagined by successful home staging.
A reputable staging company will not advise you to invest if your potential Return on Investment isn’t going to be positive.
2. What am I REALLY paying for when I hire a stager?
- Expert knowledge. Knowledge of what inspires potential buyers of a home like yours to fall in love with your specific home. Professional home stagers follow sales data and area trends; they also continually polish their interior decorating skills. So, when staging plans hit your desk, they’re not just tips for how to make your house look pretty, they’re wise moves for boosting the value of your investment.
- Time. The time your team invests in creating a custom plan for how to highlight the features of your home that are going to lead to more and higher offers; and, if your stager is providing furniture or decor, time to pack, deliver, unpack, clean and iron linens, and put everything in its perfect place.
- Overhead. When stagers are bringing in furniture and décor, you’ll be covering a small portion of the items’ cost. There are also team salaries, transportation, insurance, and other business-related costs. Tap if you’re interested in knowing more about what goes into pricing.
3. How does a home stager decide what MY HOUSE needs?
Professional stagers consider your home’s architectural style, setting, size and layout, and create a plan for what will make it most attractive to prospective buyers.
Every home is different—and not just in overall style (e.g., Arts & Crafts vs. modern…), but in its specific location, views, natural lighting, and unique features too. The staging—from paint colors to furnishing styles to decor selection—must coordinate with your home’s personality.
Your decorating style might be a little eclectic, with personal items collected over years reflecting a range of styles; and it works perfectly for you. But a buyer will have trouble seeing themselves in that home.
Your stager will always be checking against the most critical questions: Will this make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves LOVING living here? Here’s an example of a well-staged home:
4. Do (or can) buyers get to keep the staging items?
Typically, no. When a company stages a vacant home or brings in any furniture or decor items, neither the buyers nor the sellers keep the items. Most vacant home staging companies maintain an inventory of furniture and decor items in a range of styles. In your staging project, you’re essentially “renting” the items until the contract is past due diligence.
Stagers don’t usually go out and purchase items specifically for your home—or if they do, the items will go back to the warehouse once your home sells. Of course, just about anything’s negotiable, so if you love what’s in the home you’re buying… ask!
5. What if I don’t like my stager’s recommendations, or the new style?
This can be tricky, because these changes to your home are specifically designed to make it appeal to people OTHER THAN YOU! Remember, you’re not just leaving your home for a while—you’re selling it! So, before you object, be sure you’re evaluating the recommendations based on what other people will like—not yourself.
If cost is what has you concerned, that’s a little different. Most good stagers will ask your budget before putting together their plan for you.
In our experience, the people who reap the biggest rewards on their sales typically have implemented at least 75% of the steps we advise.
In the end, what you decide to do will depend on your budget and timeline, as well as how much you trust your staging professional. (Just remember to adjust your expectations accordingly!) If we can help you—please reach out!