Many real estate firms now offer home staging as part of their available services. Often, they tout faster offers and higher sales prices as a good reason to stage a home, but what if you’re selling your home without a realtor?
Should you hire a home stager and if so, how can you find the right one – someone who won’t toss a few throw pillows around, move a few chairs and hand you a four figure bill for the “consultation”?
In other words, what should you look for in someone who advertises their services as a home stylist?
How a home stager can help you get a better price
Since you’re competing against other homes in your market – sometimes many homes, depending on market conditions – so anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is going to have a positive effect on your home sale.
Buyers react positively to what appeals to them. According to a new member survey conducted by NAR (National Association or Realtors) nearly half of them say that home staging impacts a buyer’s perception of a home.
Realtors also reported that staging encouraged prospective buyers to visit homes they’d seen online.
But will it lead to getting your asking price…or more?
Maybe – current market conditions play a large part, but one thing is certain; it can’t hurt.
If you decide to have your home staged, what should you look for in the individual who will come into your home and help make it appeal to prospective buyers?
What to look for in a home stager
Aside from the obvious licensing, insurance and cost concerns, ask a potential home stager the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:
Training and education – What formal training have you received for home staging skills?
There are some reputable companies such as RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) who maintain a list of professional home stagers who have gone through their extensive training programs.
Experience – How long have you been professionally staging homes?
The longer they’ve been staging homes and the longer the list of satisfied customers, the more comfortable you can feel about hiring them to stage your home.
Portfolio – Ask to see their portfolio.
They should be willing and able to provide you with before and after images of homes (either online or in print) that they’ve staged and be able to ask specific questions about why they chose a particular camera angle, or the accessories, etc. they used.
These kinds of questions about their portfolio will ensure that you’re working with a professional, not someone who copied a lot of images from the web and are claiming them as their own.
While reviewing their portfolio, look for a variety of decorative styles. Ask the home stager what type of style she would recommend for your home. If she’s a competent home stager and not an imposter, she’ll have a wealth of home styling ideas that could work for your home.
Familiarity with your market
Are you familiar with homes in my area, and the expectations of potential buyers? A skilled home stylist will know how to stage a variety of home types and have a good understanding of what is expected by buyers of homes across various price ranges.
Testimonials (a/k/a happy clients)
Testimonials from satisfied clients are the “bread and butter” of every service based business and it’s no different with home stagers.
Ask to contact her previous clients. She should have no problem giving you the information and if she’s been in business for any length of time she should have many testimonials for your to review.
Finally, when you’re speaking with her, is she actively listening to your concerns and questions? A key part of hiring any professional to help you with your home sale is to find someone you can envision working with.