Choosing the best home stager for your property listing can be challenging. Staging a home for resale is harder than it looks. It takes much more than swiping a few coats of fresh paint onto the walls to create a space that makes a personal connection with potential buyers. And as any professional home stager will tell you, it’s important to achieve a warm and inviting atmosphere without getting too personal. A potential buyer needs to be able to see him/herself living in the space.
So how do you choose the home stager for the job? There a few key things to consider in your search for the best home stager for your property.
Can they provide an objective opinion?
Consider whether the stager can provide a third party, objective opinion on where to get the best return on investment in the home. For example, does the client need to paint their home because the colours are dated or the walls are too dirty? Or, does the client need to replace broadloom with hardwood or renovate a kitchen and bathroom above all else? Alternatively, a simple de-cluttering might be all that is needed. Only a stager that has extensive experience of the market will understand if an element in your home is worth spending money on to improve, or not. This comes from years of experience.
Proof of work
A seasoned home stager will likely have a portfolio of their best projects displayed prominently on their website. If they don’t, be careful. Always ask to see a portfolio of their work before signing a contract.
You’ll want to make sure that they have a significant portfolio of properties that are similar to the one you are trying to sell. Ask if they can provide some case studies with a few examples of project cost and the delivered results, as well as the selling price.
It’s important to note that no stager can guarantee how long a house will take to sell or for what price. Stagers do not control the market, nor do they set the selling price. They also have no control over the marketing of the home, as that is typically done by the realtor. The best a stager can do is leverage their past experience to maximize the opportunity for a successful sale.
Do they have testimonials?
In line with the point above, be sure to see what past clients have said about their work. Most home staging professionals will have a few positive testimonials displayed around their website, but you can also dig a bit deeper. If the home stager is affiliated with a realtor, call them up and ask for a reference.
Do they have the right experience?
Take some time to evaluate their past work. Have they worked with homes in different neighborhoods? You want to be sure that they are adaptable in terms of who they are styling for, since the target demographic can change drastically from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Many home stagers specialize solely on one type of property. Say you come across a stager who has a portfolio full of gorgeous downtown condos. While the staging might be beautiful, this particular stager likely wouldn’t be the right fit for a 2 million suburban home. The style of furnishings and requirements between the two types of properties will vary greatly.
An experienced home stager is able to stage both a tiny condo as well as a multi-million dollar home; they should have a comprehensive inventory and access to whichever style of furnishings each property requires.
Do they have relationships with experienced trade professionals?
When selling a home, you typically require several different services. Before your space is staged you might need a few blemished walls repaired and painted, heavy furniture moved, and the house thoroughly cleaned. Hiring a home stager who already has an established network of trade professionals will make searching for and hiring painters, movers and cleaners all that much easier.
Are they easy to work with?
Inviting a stranger into your home to assess how to make it looks its best can be daunting. Often people who are preparing to sell are in various states of disarray, as their homes can become messy as cupboards and basements are emptied. And often, the selling of family homes can be an emotional process; having someone who is sensitive and kind whilst helping clients to navigate through the stressful process of selling a home is of the highest importance.
Does the media use them as a trusted expert in the field?
Had the home stager been published? For example, StagingWorks has been published in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, National Post, Globe and Mail, and more.
Hopefully, this article has been helpful by raising some key considerations for choosing the best home stager for your property listing.