Home Staging does not necessarily always mean the staging of a vacant home, it is not all or nothing. There are multiple levels for home staging depending on the needs of the seller and how far they want to take it investing in the preparation of their home for sale.
Ideally, staging a property from top to bottom is the preferred route, that is if you have the budget to do so, however, if the sellers have a limited budget (or no budget at all), the best option is to schedule a Home Staging Consultation prior to listing the home.
What is a Home Staging Consultation?
What exactly is a home staging consultation? In short, it is a very detailed discussion, advice, and review of what needs to be done to the property before it is listed to showcase the home in its best possible light. Home staging consultations are the starting point and guide on how to best showcase your property. A professional stager can identify and point you in the right direction on marketing your home at it’s best.
The investment in a consultation will be well worth the outcome and the information imparted. Savvy realtors will offer home staging consultations by a professional stager as part of their listing packages because they know the benefits. Homeowners that are truly serious about putting their best foot forward, will also contact a professional home stager prior to listing. While some realtors really have the best intentions in mind, and will give some tried and true staging advise, there is nothing like the tips and tricks a staging professional can give. The realtor and the stager have two very different jobs and will make the best team to market and sell the property and reap a higher return on investment to the homeowner.
Well, now that we know a consultation is a detailed review of a property, what does it entail?
A staging consultation should give you a clear path on how to prepare your home for sale. During this walk-through, the owner and our certified stager will go through each room in the home, taking notes along the way. This is our chance to take a walk in the buyer’s shoes to see what kind of first impression the home would give them and observe what changes need to be made to make it more appealing to a critical buyer. We will also ask the seller questions along the way. The whole process should take about 1 ½ to 2-hours (depending on the size of the home) during which we address the following:
- Curb Appeal – Remember first impressions mean everything and the curb appeal will be the first impression the buyers have when approaching your home.
- Improving the flow and function of all rooms
- Eliminating excess items and unnecessary furniture pieces
- Closet Organization
- Recommended or Deferred maintenance needed
- Paint color recommendations (if needed)
- Lighting recommendations
Should the Listing Agent be present?
Most of the agents we work with are present, however if the homeowner is the one that hired us for the consultation, it is entirely up to them whether they want the listing agent present during the consult. This way, the homeowner and the listing agent will be on the same page in the end when everything is set up and ready for photos and listing.
The fee for home staging consultations will differ from one location to the other and from one staging company to the other, which is why doing your research and choosing the right company for you is so important. Generally, the consultation fee starts at around $150, and upwards of $500 at the high end. The fee will increase depending on where the location of the property is, the size and the condition, and depending on the company it may be the amount of time the stager spends inside the home, which is why being thorough and efficient is in everyone’s benefit (time saving for the stager and money for the homeowner and/or realtor).
Beware of stagers who charge too little, or those offering free consultations. This could be of no value and a total waste of your time, after all, you get what you pay for…
Here at MDC, we take pride in providing our clients with the best services and maximizing the time spent in our consult to impart the most knowledge and achieve the best outcome possible, regardless of the size of the home.
Our Staging Consults start at $250 for homes up to 3,500 sqft and typically take 2.5 – 3 hours, and $399 for larger homes requiring extra time. A formal report summarizing everything discussed during the consultation (Walk and Talk) can be provided within 48 hours for an additional $100 fee.
Remember, when it comes to real estate, always put your best foot forward. Stage first and reap the benefits.
Until next time,