Hiring a Professional Stager vs. Doing It Yourself

hiring professional house stager before selling house

Time, we can’t buy it and sometimes we take advantage of it, but it never comes back.  Time is the most common denominator for all selling their home.  It is precious, so be wise on how you want to use the time to effectively sell your home.

To conserve as much time for yourself as possible, you will want to delegate as many tasks as you can so that you will be free to focus on other important aspects of your move.

A professional home stager could be a real lifesaver. Staging experts often have acquired valuable experience that they can pass on to your home to increase its salability.

The staging professional or firm will create a theme in each room to complement the layout, bring in the furniture and home décor needed to complete the themes throughout the house, and give you tips to use when showing the house such as what kind of fresh flowers to buy or scented candles to burn.

You might also consider that a staging expert or firm will make sure to provide the manpower needed to do the heavy lifting and moving of furniture throughout the house, and if any damage happens in the process, the stager covers the cost of repairs.

On the other hand, staging the home yourself could not only save you money but could also allow you to put more of your own personality into the theme.

Having lived in the home yourself, you are more familiar with its pros and cons indoors and outdoors such as the need for more light in a particular room or making sure that the lawn is treated for weeds to keep them from sprouting up overnight.

Your goal is to gain the highest return on investment when your house sells. If you believe you can achieve this by staging on your own, then go for it, otherwise, spend the little extra on a professional upfront to reap the benefits at the sale. 

What to Expect with a Pro

True staging pros run a very smooth operation.   Of course, anyone can make mistakes, but fumbling around for something to write on or asking for your pen is already a red flag. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to hire a home stager:

  • Ask around. Don’t just select a random name from online and hire the stager. Ask your realtor, other realtors, and friends about their experiences and ask for a referral.

Then, interview several pros and select the one who could provide the best value to you.

  • You get what you pay for. If the price tag is low, it’s probable that the quality of service offered will match that price. If your stager is a well-known expert in the field, your price tag will definitely be considerably higher than someone running a summer gig.

Can your potential stager provide references and photos of successful past projects? Make sure to see their photos and ask for past clients references, when possible.

  • Professionals will ask you many questions. Just like a doctor, the staging pro wants as much information from you about your needs as possible. On your part, you also need to ask many questions during the initial consultation to make sure that this is the stager for you.

Ask questions like how do they work out their rates, how long they will take, what you could do on your end to keep the costs down, have they staged homes in the past and how many, and whether or not they’ll expect anything from you during the process.

  • They are staging pros. Not realtors. Not bankers. However, they do need to know enough about real estate to ensure that they know what they’re aiming for in increasing a home’s salability.

Their job is to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers, so they will not (and should not) talk to you about negotiating pricing with those buyers.  You can ask your realtor to work with your stager to get the best features highlighted in your home.

  • Be prepared to change your ways. The stager will want you to follow certain guidelines if you will be living in the staged house. This will help keep the rooms in order and ready for viewing. If you won’t be living in the house, it’s going to be much easier to keep the home clean and ready to show. However, make sure to get in and dust regularly.

Real staging pros should make you feel confident about the quality of their work. If you want to sell your home, it’s ultimately your responsibility to make it happen.  Work with the pros and be flexible in the process.

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M. Chacon Torres Real Estate Broker