Home Stagers: Be Ready to Answer These Questions
Selling a house is no small task. Homeowners have to hire a real estate agent, select a professional home stager, set a price, view open houses, complete house repairs, obtain a loan, and pack their belongings—no time to waste! As a home stager, you need to be ready to quickly and confidently answer potential clients’ questions. Preparing for commonly asked questions will ensure that you can provide the necessary information to secure those sought-after jobs.
Expect to face some of these common questions as a home stager—and make sure you’re ready to answer them!
1. What does a home stager do?
Home stagers are responsible for taking a home and transforming it into a space that potential buyers can envision themselves living in. To help the property sell as fast as possible and at top dollar, the process normally involves de-cluttering, depersonalizing, and redesigning the interior and exterior of the house.
2. Why do I need a home stager?
Homeowners may feel like their house already looks great, but potential buyers may disagree. As a home stager, you can see the house as potential buyer would view it. You are an unbiased third party that can provide ideas on how to make the space appeal to the vast majority.
Unlike homeowners, home stagers are experienced professionals that are knowledgeable of current design tends and can effectively highlight a home’s best features.
3. What is the difference between a home stager and an interior decorator?
A home stager’s goal is to prepare the property to be put up for sale and to appeal to potential buyers. In contrast, interior decorators cater to the requests of the homeowner as they will be the ones continuing to live in the space. Both home stagers and interior decorators want to make their clients’ homes look good—but whereas a home stager is going for a generic, depersonalized look, an interior decorator wants to create a space that reflects her client’s unique personal tastes.
4. When should my home be staged?
Ideally, a house should be staged before it is listed. By doing this, the house will present well for MLS photos or flyers that the relator may post.
Even if your house is already on the market, it is never too late to stage. Keep in mind that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so it’s always best that the house looks stunning from the get-go!
5. What are your rates?
This is usually the question home owners are itching to ask. Some home stagers charge by the hour while others offer a fixed price for the job. Prices can vary based on the size of the house, the location, whether the property is vacant or occupied, or the amount of time that is required to complete the job. Either way, ensure that you discuss your client’s budget to make sure you are all on the same page.
A report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 2015 showed that the median cost of staging a house is $675 (USD), which is about 1% of the total asking price—so worth it when you consider that most buyers will offer 1%-5% more for staged homes!
6. Does the whole house need to be staged?
Ideally, yes; however, some areas can be skipped in the effort to reduce staging costs. Areas such as the foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom are considered key features of a home and should always be staged.
7. Will I need to clear out my house before you stage it?
During the consultation, you will discuss with your client what needs to go. This usually involves the removal of personal items and clutter. Once this is done, the remaining pieces may be repurposed or moved to open up and brighten a room.
8. Do you supply the furniture and accessories?
This depends—home stagers hold their own stock to rent out to clients for a fee or they can purchase/rent items on their client’s behalf. In both circumstances, the client will be the one responsible to cover the costs of having additional pieces brought into their home.
9. Is there anything I can do to reduce the cost?
Some home stagers will allow their clients to lend a hand in order to keep the cost down. Depending on what your client is willing to do, they can be responsible for transporting new pieces to the house, helping to rearrange furniture, or shopping for new items you have requested.
10.What kind of experience do you have?
There are no specific requirements to become a home stager, but professional training will make you stand out amongst other stagers and will ensure that you are capable of doing the job you have been asked to do.
Potential clients usually err on the side of caution when hiring since just about anyone can call themselves a home stager. To ease their minds, it is always a good idea to provide samples of your prior work or a list of references that they can check.
Finally, remind your clients that you can be trusted to get the job done so they can focus on the multiple other aspects involved in selling a home.