Some home sellers think that when it comes to home staging, it is always all or nothing. In fact, that is not always the case. There are options for home staging depending on how far the sellers are willing to take it and the budget sellers are willing to spend.
Showcasing and staging a property from top to bottom is ideal if the budget permits. However, if the sellers have a limited budget (or no budget at all), my suggestion is to at least consider a Home Staging Consultation.
HOME STAGING CONSULTATIONS, WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Home staging consultations are the base and your guide on how to effectively showcase your property on your own. It is the time where you can pick the stager’s brain and get to know the hows and whys of staging your home. The right professional stager can point you in the right direction on how to put your home at its best possible light.
A staging consultation should give you a clear path on how to prepare your home for sale. A walk through the whole house is done to evaluate and discuss furniture placement, lighting, room layout, furniture editing, accessorizing and wall colour to name a few. In short, every aspect of how to make every room showing ready should be discussed. Do not hesitate to ask for suggestions or recommendations if you have awkward spaces or problem areas in your home that you are stuck with.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK
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 need 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?
A staging consultation can be an hour to three hours long 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 THE AGENT BE PRESENT?
Yes, if he or she will have the final say in 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 for everybody.
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 $500. 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 charge 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.
REDESIGN4MORE Inc. Home Staging & Interior Decorating
Red Barrinuevo is a Toronto-based, award-winning Interior Stylist and Principal Designer of Redesing4More Inc., servicing Toronto & the GTA. The firm’s known for enhancing and creating stylish yet functional spaces through their creative home staging, interior styling, and design services. Click here to learn more about Red and REDESIGN4MORE.