Tips for hiring a home stager

If you are in the market to sell your Kelowna home, one of the best decisions you can make is to use the services of an experienced and professional home stager. Hiring a home stager is nearly as important to your home's desirability as an experienced, and the reputable real estate agent is to the selling of your home. Choosing to work with a home stager as part of your property's marketing team can help you realize your real estate goals much faster than an unstaged home, and although it comes at a premium, it could help your listing sell faster and for more money than an unstaged home. 

Finding the most suitable professional to help set your listing apart from the rest is not an easy task, so here are 10 helpful questions to ask before hiring a home stager:

1. Ask for Work Experience

Investing in home staging services can be costly, and the whole point of pursuing a service such as this is to be successful in the sale of your home and to maximise your ROI. It's important since you're trusting one of your most valuable assets to a home stager, which is why it's in your best interest to work with someone who is professionally trained and has a few years of experience in their portfolio.

Ask what kind of qualifications and formal/informal training they have received, as well as the amount of time they've been in business for actively staging properties. A way of gauging their expertise is to ask how many average days their staged homes were on the market for last year.

2. Make Sure They're Insured

No service provider should ever work on your house unless they're insured. Outside of experience, being insured is definitely at the top of the priority list when it comes to hiring a home stager, for safety and liability reasons. Be sure to inquire about the resources they work with and ask if they're insured, as well as if their business is covered by insurance. Before any work takes place, it's critical to ask your potential home stager if they're insured to act as a contractor or a project manager.

3. Check Their Portfolio

Before you can make any decisions based on whether or not their services fit your home's needs or to your liking, requesting to view their portfolio is the best way to see if their work is going to help you in your real estate success. Ask to see photos from their most recent projects, or of projects that are similar to your home.

Photographs should be of professional quality, labeled with their company. To make sure pictures are not stolen or stock images, look for cohesiveness in the images. A home stager should be willing to provide you with before and after photos of their work to give you a better sense of their work. A professional home stager should be able to explain their thought process behind their work. Some questions to ask are:

  • Did you select the accessories, paint, furniture, or was it a collaboration?
  • Are the photos in your portfolio your own work?
  • Do you have any other homes that are currently listed? 
  • How much of a budget do you think I'll need?

4. Do They Have Market Familiarity?

It's important to know if your potential home stager has worked in your market before, or if they're at least familiar with your market. A good home stager should know the expectations of the buyers in your house price range and market. Ask if they have experienced any successes or roadblocks in your market more recently. If you inquire about their typical price range of homes they work in, this will help you know if they're the right fit for your property. The more industry related questions you can ask, the more informed you'll both be.

5. What is Their Specific Style?

Understanding a home stagers' overall look and feel, or style they're capable of providing you with is another way to figure out if they'll be successful in staging your house to its fullest potential. Glancing at their portfolio will show you what they're capable of, and whether or not their talent and quality of work is something that will sell your home. Ask as many questions as possible about what style they envision for your property. If they suggest making a bold change that you're unsure about, maybe try to find a way to meet in the middle. 

6. Testimonials and Referrals

This seems like a no-brainer to look into when hiring someone, but asking about a home stagers' testimonials, references, a website, or any social media presence sometimes falls to the wayside when considering their business. With all of the details and planning that goes into this type of service, you might forget to bring it up, but it's a good idea to see what people are saying about their services and to see how they promote themselves and their brand.

It's also beneficial to ask if they have any professionals they can recommend to complete any related home projects. Home stagers typically have a network of preferred tradespeople and vendors they work with. Their industry knowledge and network might pay off in selling your home even more so if you ask!

7. Budget & Contracts

Inquiring about a home stager's rates and availability are the first things to ask before contracts even come up. Since many home staging services do not have a set cost, it's critical to get estimates, proposals, and bids from a few home stagers before committing. Make sure you know exactly what you will get from their services with your budget. Any serious home stager, or one that takes their business seriously will certainly provide you a contract that clearly states expectations, schedules, proposals, and budget. Make sure they can deliver within your timeline, otherwise their services are useless to the selling of your home.

8. Marketing Plan

Sometimes excellent home staging and a solid REALTOR® isn't enough to get people through the door. Ask a home stager if they have any other ideas that will attract people to the property. Some will promote your home on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, while others will come up with a plan to do a soiree or co-host a casual event at the home. Some home stagers will work with your real estate agent to create some ways to make your listing stand-out.

9. Preferred Business Services

Depending on how successful or well-connected a home stager is, they will have a list of preferred builders and tradespeople they work with, should you need more than just decorations. It's very often that painters, window cleaners, handymen, carpet cleaners, and floor refinishers are needed during the process. It's a good idea to look into their services before you bring anyone in on a project.

10. Self-Sufficient

Last but not least, it's a good idea to see what you can do on your own to stay within your budget or help expedite the home staging process. A reliable stager will let you know what you can do without professional assistance in order to cut some costs. Once you've hired a home stager, they're expected to point out details you can consider doing yourself to make your place shine, like candles, plants, or fresh towels.

Posted by AJ Hazzi on
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