5 TIPS ON HIRING THE RIGHT HOME STAGER
Chances are if you run a google search for “home stagers” in your area, numerous home staging companies fill the page. Most of these companies boast beautifully curated portfolios and pristine testimonials, promising to sell your home faster and for more money. Many of these staging websites exclaim in their bold headings common industry catchphrases, promising to provide home sellers the “largest return on investment” or “the fewest days on the market”.
The SF Bay Area has been a competitive real estate hotspot for some time now. When it comes to the home staging industry this is no different. From hobby stagers to large established staging firms, there is a buzzing industry out to sell you on their services.
But what does all of this mean to you? If there are never ending search results pages filled with home stagers all promising the same thing, how do you choose one? More importantly, how do you decide which one is RIGHT for you?
1. Do your research.
A quick MLS search for recent home sales in your neighborhood will generate a sizable list including the agent who facilitated the sale. Reach out to any agents that you see photos that reflect the particular staging you are looking for and inquire about the staging company who provided the staging services. Referrals from real estate agents or home sellers in your neighborhood are a great way to discover local home stagers who are familiar with your neighborhood.
2. Has the stager previously worked in your specific neighborhood?
Having a conversation with your stager to see if they have staged homes in your neighborhood is essential. San Francisco in particular has a diverse population with neighborhoods populated with wide ranging demographics. A stager with experience only staging homes targeted at a certain demographic such as first-time home buyers/young adults, wouldn’t be the best fit for a home targeted at established families or luxury buyers.
3. Make sure the photos represented on the stagers website are from stagings they have actually done themselves.
Many stagers who are just starting out will use stock photography they find online. While it makes for a nicely laid out portfolio, this isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of the work you can expect the stager to deliver. Often times the staging ends up looking nothing like the examples represented on their website and this can lead to not only a disappointing result, but it can lead to costly delays.
4. The home stager should be a help not a hindrance.
The home stager you select should have an understanding of the stress associated with the home selling process. The point of utilizing their services is to assist in making the process easier and to take work off of your plate. Beware of home stagers who are resistant to your ideas and opinions. Stagers who are not open to your thoughts usually have a one size fits all mentality and this cripples their ability to be of service to you. Your home stager should ultimately work with you not against you during the process.
5. Do you feel comfortable with the stager?
The home stager you select will play an important role in the home selling process. During the initial consultation ask yourself a few of the following questions:
Do I feel comfortable speaking to this home stager?
Does this person listen well?
Does he/she come well recommended?
Does the home stager sound confident and interested in my project?
Is the home stager available when I need them?
Is he/she clear when explaining how she/he works and what the fees are?
Ultimately hiring a home stager is an investment. With any major purchase or investment you want to make sure you take the time and do your homework. There is no shortage of home stagers available to you, the key is finding the RIGHT home stager for you!