Some home sellers think that when it comes to home staging, it is always all or nothing. When in fact, that is not always the case. There are many options for staging depending on how far and how sophisticated you want to go when showcasing your home.
Such options can be a full staging, which is mostly for vacant homes; partial staging when homeowners only want to stage certain rooms which usually involves showcasing the main living areas and master bedroom for example; Occupied staging where we stage the property using the homeowner’s pieces; and lastly the most important of all — the Home Staging Consultations.
HOME STAGING CONSULTATIONS, WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Home staging consultation is the base of every professional stagers in tackling and planning an effective merchandising of a property. It is where everything starts. More importantly, for homeowners planning to stage their homes on their own, it is a “no brainer” to ask a professional stager to at least do a staging consultation to guide you to the right direction to effectively showcase your home.
What to expect in a staging consultation?
A staging consultation should give you a clear path to showcasing your home. Every aspect on how to properly merchandise your home should be discussed including design direction, proper layout, and furniture placement, lighting, wall colour, accessorizing, and how to address problem areas in your home if you are stuck with one.
A staging consultation also covers ways on easing the challenges of living in a staged house (if you will be). Ask for tips on how to make things easier for you during this stressful time. This is the time to pick the stager’s brain, do not hesitate to ask.
Important questions to ask during a staging consultation
Home stagers have a proven way that works with buyers every time, this is what they do and this is the reason why you ask them to come. Pick their brain and ask questions.
- Does your wall colour work? If not, what is the best wall colour when selling?
- What is the best layout for every room to maximize space and impact when showing?
- What pieces needs to be moved out of the house?
- Which pieces can stay?
- Should you remove your drapes and curtains? What about shutters?
- Should you change/replace the light fixture in the house?
- Do they have tradesmen should you need them (cleaners, organizers, floor refinishers, handyman services, etc).
- What is their turnaround time to stage the house?
- What other recommendations they have in mind to showcase the house effectively?
These are just some common questions that should be asked during a consultation but feel free to ask stagers if something comes up during the visit. The more you know, the better you will be in staging your own home.
Do not forget to ask for recommendations and suggestions on how to effectively showcase the property. Home stagers see your house differently the way you do. We look at it as merchandise that needs to be “repackaged” to make it shine. You will be surprised on the ideas they can come up with (giving rooms a different function, room traffic, and flow, use of colour to energize a room).
How long is a staging consultation?
A staging consultation can be an hour to three hours long (we have never done more than three hours) depending on the size, the condition, and scope of staging.
- Some stagers will provide you with a written report and summary of what was discussed.
- Some stagers don’t.
Regardless if you’re getting a report or not, it is always best to jot down important details and recommendations during the consultation as your reference for later. This way, you have the information on hand should you want to start sooner and wouldn’t have to wait for you stager’s report.
Should your agent be present during the staging consultation?
Yes, if he or she will have the final say to showcasing the property. This way you won’t have problems in the end when everything is set up and ready for photos if just in case the look of the house won’t align to how he or she plans to market it. It is so much easier to involve them in the beginning than to change pieces (or the entire staging) which are not always possible. Not to mention the possible delays and hassle to everybody.
how much should you pay for a staging consultation?
The fee for home staging consultations might differ from one location to the other. Generally, the consultation fee starts at the base of $150 to $250. The base will increase depending on where the property is located, the size and the condition of the property, and or sometimes depending on how long the stager spent time inside your house (so stop talking on the phone during consults because it might cost you a lot).
Beware of stagers who charges so much less than this, or those offering free consultations. This could be of no value and a total waste of your time. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
- Some stagers charge consultations by the hour, from the time they get into your house until your last question.
- Others charge a flat fee based on initial phone calls or previous communications.
- Some stagers charge a fee to come and see a vacant property (don’t assume it’s free because your house is vacant, ask).
- Some stagers credit your consultation fee back to you if they end up staging the house, this is worth asking.
Lastly, the staging consultation is the best way to gauge and see if your stager is the best fit for you and your home. Every stager has their own expertise and a personality that should work well with yours. Are you comfortable with them? Do you trust them?
Having a good a good working relationship with your stager is important because you can be stuck with them for days or even months depending on the size of the project, plus you are handing them to showcase your biggest investment – your home. Trust is essential.
Red Barrinuevo | Your Toronto Home Stager
Is a Canadian Certified Staging Professional. His professional affiliations include the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and the CSP. He is the recipient of numerous home staging awards and was picked as RESA’s Top Professional Stager of Canada for 2016. He has worked with hundreds of Real Estate Brokers, Investors, Real Estate Agents, and has helped homeowners showcase their homes at its best when it is time to sell.
As President and Principal Stager of REDESIGN4MORE, Red provides home staging and interior redecorating services for both small and large-scale residential projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Click here to learn more about Red and REDESIGN4MORE.