How to choose a home staging professional

Dated: February 11 2021

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Homebuyers take 8 seconds on average to determine if they like a home they’re touring. That’s barely enough time to get through the front door! That first look-around, however, is the deciding factor in whether or not they’ll venture further into the home.

Professional home stagers use design and decor techniques to appeal to homebuyers’ emotions from the moment they enter the home. Stagers’ training and experience help them understand color psychology, how to place furniture for maximum impact, and which accessories and textures appeal to the broadest range of homebuyers for your particular home. Therefore, a good home stager is worth his or her weight in gold. Taking a home from bland to drop-dead alluring is the magic that sells homes for the most money the market will allow. And statistics bear that out; staged homes sell quicker and for more money.

How to find the perfect stager –Just as homeowners are urged to interview more than one listing agent to help with the marketing and sale of their homes, it’s important to interview several home stagers.

Start your fact-finding on the stager’s website. Go straight to the portfolio section where you should find lots of before-and-after photos to give you an idea of the magic he or she performs. You may notice that certain stagers seem to work with one particular type of home (luxury homes, for instance, or vacant homes or condos). Some also seem to have a preferred neighborhood or part of town they work in more than others. Finally, check the stagers’ reviews on Yelp.com and their ranking on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Another great place to start is by asking your listing agent to provide some referrals.

Interview your choices –Invite the prospective home stagers to your home for an interview. Some stagers charge a consultation fee, others don’t. While many in the industry are hoping the practice becomes standard, many stagers offer a free consultation. The first question to ask over the phone, then, is if there is a consultation fee and how much it is.

  • During the interviews, ask each stager for the addresses of any currently staged properties so that you can visit them to see their work in action.
  • Ask for a list of their past clients that you can call for references.
  • What is required of you before the stager starts work?
  • Ask for the stager’s insurance information.

Finally, one of the most important questions to ask is who the stager thinks will buy your home. What group of people will he or she target with their work? Ensure the stager’s idea of the most-likely buyer’s demographic and lifestyle matches your listing agent’s targeted buyer pool. I can help you find the ideal stager for your home and would be happy to answer your questions on anything real estate.

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Anne Butcher

Award-winning agent including America's Top 100 Real Estate Agents from 2019 and 2020. A full-time Real Estate Agent since 2003 and a certified negotiation expert. Awarded eXp Realty Icon Agent Statu....

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