Last Updated on July 17, 2022 by Luke Feldbrugge
Staging a house to sell is one of the best ways to increase the sale price of your home, so it may be worth hiring professional home stagers to impress potential buyers. Home staging companies cost money so it would be an investment toward receiving that extra $5,000-$10,000 on a purchase offer from a potential buyer who really wants your home. That means choosing a staging company that has the right services and products to match your home and your budget. Here’s how to find talented home stagers to maximize your home value.
Designers Are Not Home Stagers
It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between an interior designers and home stagers. A designer can help you fit a home to your personal tastes, usually while you’re living there and plan to be there for a while. Home stagers understand real estate, home decor trends, optimization of space and how to highlight function with style. Their intent is to maximize the sale price of a home by providing an experience that impresses the senses of potential buyers. These are usually cosmetic changes, like paint, rearranging or renting furniture for a showing, or sometimes even taking some items out of the home temporarily.
This is an important distinction because home stagers are not licensed professionals. So, anyone who thinks they have an eye for design can sell home staging services. But only a professional home stager will keep up with market trends and understand exactly what buyers are looking for. This is why you need to thoroughly vet staging companies you’re considering to make sure you get the maximum return on your investment.
To get the best results from your home staging efforts, check out our Home Staging Tips to Sell Your House.
10 Questions to Ask Potential Home Stagers
A quick online search will likely show a lot of home stagers in your area. So, sorting through them all to find the right one will take a little work and a little interrogation. Here are some questions to ask any prospective home staging companies:
- Do you stage homes full-time or is this a side business of yours?
- What do you do to stay up on the latest home staging trends?
- How did you get into home staging and what is your background?
- Can I see your portfolio, and are all the examples your own work?
- NOTE: If their portfolio contains a “TRUE PORTFOLIO endorsed by RESA” logo, it means they have met the Real Estate Staging Association’s code of ethics to only show the home stagers’ own work.
- Can I see some before-and-after photos of homes you’ve staged?
- How do you decide what kind of style to bring to a home?
- What exactly do I get for your home staging cost?
- Can you send me a sample contract so I can review all the fine print?
- Can you give me some references from past clients I can contact?
- Are you able to provide me with proof of professional liability insurance?
In asking all of these questions, your main goal is to make sure you’re working with a professional who knows what they’re doing and will tailor their services to your individual home. A mix of styles, a holistic and professional approach to the process, and a large body of quality work are all good signs that you’ve found a home stager you can trust.
Home Staging Cost
According to Fixr, the average home staging cost is $1,500 nationwide. If you consult with multiple home staging companies, you will likely find a range of prices quoted for staging services. This is where it pays to know exactly what you are getting in your contract. Going with the cheapest option isn’t always the best. It likely means home stagers may make cuts on their end to make the job profitable.
In other words, less cost for you could mean fewer accessories, less staged furniture for or poorer service for your home. That could end up costing you a lot more in the end if the home isn’t staged well; especially if it stays on the market for a longer time. So weigh your options and keep the big picture in mind. From a financial perspective, paying a little more up front to stage your home well may turn into selling your home faster and/or for more money.
Staging a Home for Sale
If you’ve ever watched home buying and selling shows on HGTV or other channels, you may have gotten the impression that staging a home for sale is all about bringing in new furniture. But it actually involves a lot more than that. It also includes reimagining spaces, or utilizing your existing furniture in new ways. Staging also includes cleaning, decluttering, and all-around repackaging your home to look its best. Some people choose to do all of this on their own. Most people choose to use home stagers who will tell you specifically what needs to happen and how they plan to do for you. If you choose to take it on yourself there are many resources you can find to help you do it. Here’s our short-list of steps to take and some additional resources you may find helpful.
- All rooms and surfaces are free of clutter
- Kids’ toys and artwork are put away
- Kitchen surfaces are clean and appliances are free of smudges or stains
- Bathrooms are cleaned deeply and deodorized prior to home viewings
- Windows are clean and free of smudges
- Curb appeal makes a great first impression because the exterior is tidy and well maintained
- Power-wash the façade of your home, if applicable
- Add accent pieces to living rooms, bedrooms, and offices
- Depersonalize the home by removing family photos
- Remove any art that wouldn’t appeal to a mass audience
- Remove pet items and eliminate any pet odors
This is by no means an exhaustive list of to dos, but it should help you think about all the areas of your home you will need to prepare when getting ready to sell.
The benefit of home stagers is they will provide you with helpful advice to make sure everything is accounted for when it comes time to staging your home for sale.
Bottom Line Regarding Home Stagers
Staging a home is part art and part science. With a little help from experts, you can transform your home into one that buyers will love. By doing your homework beforehand to choose the right vendor and using a home staging checklist throughout the actual staging process, you can ensure your home looks its best, attracts offers quickly and ultimately generates the best possible sale price.
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