Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions and their answers
Home staging works to help bridge the gap between you and your goals. It helps you sell faster so you can move quickly into the next chapter of your life. Want to avoid low offers? Staged homes sell for 1-5% more than their un-staged compositions so you can maximize your equity at the closing table. Staged homes also provide optimum listing photos which catch the eye of more buyers. An increase in potential buyer showings is an increase in potential offers. This can also increase an appraisal value which could be just what the banker needed to approve the buyer loan.
Home staging is an investment in one of your largest assets and the investment you make will be less than the first price reduction you may have to consider later if you don’t stage now. Service costs vary from state to state but nationally, a vacant home will run about 5% of the home’s listing price. However, here in Midwest Michigan, the average vacant staging is 1-2% of the listing price. Ask your agent what the first price reduction would be and compare that to your quote for staging.
If your agent is a certified home stager and offers staging as part of their listing service, that might be a solution for you. Many agents have the best of intentions when trying to help you prepare your home for the market. However, does the agent have an inventory of the latest styles for furniture and accessories? Or, will they be re-designing with your items? Either way, are the hours they spend at your home taking away from the hours they could be spending to find the right buyer for you? Most agents have a stager they partner with in order to allow each professional to focus on the area of their area of expertise.
While those are important steps to take, times have changed and so have buyer expectations. If you want top dollar for your home, you need to show buyers why they should offer top dollar. Think about your last shopping trip. The store has predetermined which direction they want you to move by creating traffic flow. Their products are lit and displayed to get your attention. Colors are arranged to catch your eye. You may think staging doesn’t work but truth be told, it has been working on you for your entire life.
I’ve never met a home that didn’t need staging on some level. Search similar homes for sale in your area. (Comps)
If even one of your competitors is beautifully staged, yours needs staging to compete and draw those buyers. If none of them have been staged, you need staging to stand out from the crowd. Vacant homes need staging because empty rooms leave nothing for buyers to look at except the flaws. Even newly remodeled, vacant homes need staging to show the buyer scale and help them visualize how they will live in the home.
Home staging can be a DIY process but you’ll need guidance from a trained professional. For one, if you have lived in a home for more than 2 years, you will struggle to see it in a new light. Home stagers can be objective because they are not emotionally connected to the home. I encourage you to read up on home staging and expand your knowledge of the process but remember, those blogs, books, TV shows and articles aren’t specifically about your unique home. Reach out to a home stager for a personal evaluation, tips, tricks and guidance so you have a plan to work from.
Great, they can help you with your new home. Decorating isn’t staging. Staging is a science and has nothing to do with your personal taste or lifestyle. Certified home stagers direct their skills at what today’s home buyer is looking for. We study the statistics and the demographic needs. We guide the buyer eye to the positive attributes of the home and away from the negative aspects
Start early. Donate, sell or throw it out. Pack up items that you don’t use on a daily basis or won’t need until next season. I recommend storing your extra things with friends, family or a facility but if that’s not an option, there is something I call “staging your move”. This could occur in a part of the home that is used for storage anyway. Unfinished basements or the garage works fine. Just stack items neatly and mark boxes clearly. Leave room so buyers can access space around it and inspectors can get to necessary areas. Buyers will appreciate knowing that you are packed and ready to go!
Some buyers are looking for a project so they are also looking for a deal. Homes in need of repair or long over due for an update, will sit and wait for that special buyer. That buyer (the only one you have interested) will look for any reason to justify a low offer. The majority of buyers don’t want to work, can’t see past old carpet and won’t pay for your old dirt!
Consultations, re-designs and accessory packages are all paid for upon completion. Vacant stagings require a 50% non- refundable retainer upon signing of the staging agreement. This retainer is necessary to schedule the installation date, secure the necessary inventory that best suits you home. The balance is due upon completion of the vacant staging and can be paid by check or credit card. I accept all major credit cards and invoice through PayPal. PayPal offers an opportunity to finance all or part of the total amount due for 6 months, interest free. However, if you are securing a loan for your next home, adding this finance to your credit score is not advised.
Absolutely not! It’s never too late to make a good, first impression. I have staged numerous homes that have been sitting idle for up to a year without an offer. My responsibility to you is to identify the reasons your home isn’t getting offers and provide a solution. I use previous feedback and my expert eye to identify the reasons buyers are being turned off. This may involve tackling some cosmetic changes or staging a room to appear larger. Most likely, if your home has been vacant, buyers are only looking at it’s flaws or can’t envision how their furniture will work in a awkward layout.
Great question! Because we are arriving with beautiful, clean, odor free staging inventory, I require all construction, painting, cleaning etc. be completed before the truck arrives. This is a deal breaker and non-negotiable. If I arrive and there is work going on in the home or I can identify that there is to be more work to be done, staging for that day will be cancelled and a fee will apply.