Your home is typically your largest asset. You’ve selected an experienced Realtor to price and represent it. Who will assist you in preparing it visually for the marketplace? A staging pro, or someone who’s still practicing?
There are many good articles on the internet on how to select a Real Estate Staging Professional. Here are excerpts from two of my favorites*:
- Hire a stager with real world experience. Ask to see the stager’s portfolio – either on line or hard copy. If they don’t have one, they may have never done a staging job, or they have never done a good staging job, or they are ineffective at marketing – a very undesirable trait in a home stager.
- Does the portfolio display a wide range of styles or do all the homes staged look the same? Make sure the stager is capable of staging in a manner that accentuates the architecture of your home and will be attractive to the buyers in your area.
- Ask if the stager rents furniture from another source or owns the furniture they will be using in your staging project. Make sure that the furniture that they will be using is appropriate to the style of your home and not just what they happen to have in their inventory at that time.
- Ask the stager if the photos in their portfolio are of jobs they performed themselves, or as part of a class exercise. You want an experienced stager who has lots of jobs under their belt and lots of photos of their work, not someone who has never done a staging job, or has never done a staging job outside of a class environment.
- Make sure none of the photos are “stock” photos that they purchased or lifted off of someone else’s web site. All photos in a stager’s portfolio should be of their own work.
- Ask for references, including phone numbers and/or email addresses. Check those references. Ask the reference if they would hire that stager again.
- Ask for proof of liability insurance. If the stager is not insured, the homeowner may be liable for any damages or injuries that may occur as a result of the staging.
- Make sure you are given a clearly written Bid and Staging Agreement and that you understand all aspects of them. If you don’t understand something, or something that you discussed is not in writing, ask for clarification.
- Do you get a good feeling from meeting the stager? Do they seem well organized? Do they listen to your input? Do they make notes or take photographs? Are they on time to your meeting? Just as in any business relationship, you should expect to be treated with professionalism, courtesy and respect.
- Remember – YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Look for the most qualifed staging professional rather than the cheapest price. (In the words of John Ruskin, 19th century author, critic and philosopher, “There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey.”)
*This information is composed of excerpts written by Kym Hough, Staged to Sell Stager – SF Bay area, & Michelle Minch Home Staging – Pasadena & Los Angeles, CA.