In my last post we introduced the first element of choosing a home stager with information about quality work and service.  In this post we delve into the costs of service(s).  My aim is to provide information from my experiences to help home staging clients gain awareness and enough knowledge to make informed decisions.

Setting a Realistic Budget

Establish a reasonable budget for home staging.  Understanding pricing of this service is a good place to start when establishing a budget.  Just as you have chosen the ideal real estate agent, you need to place a strong value to the choice of a stager. Throughout this series my hope is for you to consider the added value that professional staging can bring to your home’s sale price. While it may be tempting to cut costs, bear in mind that a well-staged home most often commands a higher selling price, making the investment worthwhile.  We often see agents and sellers revise pricing strategies after a staging installation is completed.

What exactly are you getting?

Empty homes require considerably more investment in staging than do other staging types like those with only some good furniture and accessories or those with design issues. Moving costs and rental costs make up a large part of the cost.  Keep in mind though that for furnished homes, additional costs of removing and storing unacceptable house items can increase your costs too.  These costs are not always included in the staging cost from a professional but need to be addressed as the process can be significant.  Find a stager with experience and knowledge on how to navigate you through the big picture and detailed processes of getting the house ready for the staging day.  Their experience in managing the overall process can save you money.

Who pays for what?

Now it is very important to discuss that while some real estate agents will pay for some of the staging costs, it is not realistic to assume they will pay for all the cost.  They may have a contribution amount toward the staging or will foot the consultation fee, or not. Be ready to take on the majority if not all of the staging cost.  It is your investment into your property and should be considered as valuable as upgrades to home. It is more valuable than that first selling price reduction. (Staging improvements should always be done before reducing a selling price.  Staging is always less expensive and more impactful than a $10,000-$20,000 reduction.) Understanding and transparency of costs are very important and fair questions to seek answers.  Communicate well with your real estate agent, stager and family members.  Keeping all of this in mind will help everyone manage their expectations during this sometimes mysterious process.

Soliciting Multiple Quotes

Avoid settling for the first stager you encounter. Request quotes from various professionals, and compare their pricing structures to fully understand the service. Take the time to research.  Look for transparency and detailed breakdowns of costs to gain a clear understanding of what you’re paying for and what is not covered that you might have to pay someone else to get done. Pay attention to cost items such as furnishings rental, staging fees, destaging fees, and moving costs, to name only a few of the costs you may encounter when selling your house. Attention to staging rental fees are crucial, as they become relevant if the staging period needs to be extended. Remarkably low service quotes may be a warning sign, typically signaling inexperience that can lead to complications for clients at any phase of the process.

Evaluating Value for Money

Evaluate the cost in relation to the quality of work. While some stagers may charge more, they may offer superior value by delivering exceptional results that expedite your home’s sale and potentially fetch a higher price. Some of their service may in fact, eliminate staging and selling expenses that only experienced stagers would have knowledge of or the ability to offer.  Full service and established stagers can actually save you money on services they provide.  Strike a balance between cost and the potential return on investment.

You may also want to review my blog post about Good, Better and Best Home Staging to become more familiar with how to shop the look you are hoping to receive from your hired stager.

Protecting your image

Your stager may put in furniture that you don’t like. That can make you feel embarassed about your house and be upsetting.  If you are unable to change this you will have to trust the stager’s design vision as changes after the staging is complete can be expensive for you.  It may cause a complete reversal of the service by the stager.  This can also greatly affect the timeframe of getting your house on the market.  A discussion about this potential issue should take place if you think it might cause you stress.

Choosing the right home stager is crucial for a successful sale. Balance quality, cost, and timeframe.  We invite you to reach out to Get ReFurnished professionals, who have been expertly staging homes since 2009. Feel free to engage in a conversation about any of these factors without any commitment whatsoever.  Ask us for our checklist to help you process all the important factors in choosing the right professional.

Get ReFurnished has developed a list of questions you can ask potential stagers to help you determine which stager is the best for your home.  Be sure to request this list of questions we will be providing free of charge after we conclude these series of blog posts.  There will be a few “aha” moments for you.

In the next post we will help you examine timeframes and how they are crucial.