How to choose a Home Stager to stage a Vacant House (and what questions you should ask!)

I see you. A motivated realtor hustling to help your clients. Working hard to get listings sold.

Then you get a listing that will be empty come time to sell.

You're wondering how to sell an empty house as a "home"


Spoiler alert: I think you should stage it! :)

Statistics have shown staged homes sell quicker and for more than empty homes. Who else would rather walk into a model home vs an empty unit? **raises hand energetically** If you want to read more on the benefits of home staging CLICK HERE. But if you're here, you've decided you want to stage a home but not sure where to start or even what questions you should ask when looking at Home Stagers in your area.....this post covers just that. Keep on reading.


STYLE

When you know who your potential buyer is for the house, the home stager can choose furniture that will appeal to that buyer age group (Think retirees vs millennials. Single bachelor vs family of 4)

A good stager will have a variety of pieces to accommodate homes in different neighborhoods, but glancing at their portfolio both on the website or social media will give you a good sense of their style.

***

If you're not sure of styles, ask the stager! They will know who they are styling for. My staging style had a very modern unique flair that appeals to younger home buyers, mostly millennials, with or without kids. CONSULT

An initial consultation is well worth the money to meet you at the property and decide the best option for that home. This fee then sometimes gets applied to any Staging Package you go with. THIS step can be so KEY in creating a plan to style that home since every home is different.


A good stager will take into account the best features of the home and create a plan of how to highlight them. Maybe the living room offers a gorgeous view, we'll arrange furniture to visually point your eye to take notice when you enter the room! If there's a small nook that doesn't have a closet, we may set up a desk to create an in-home office, showing every square foot as valuable during showings.

CONTRACTS + DEPOSIT Next is signing a contract. This makes sure everyone's on the same page and knows what's to be expected. Requiring a deposit beforehand is normal for Stagers, like any other business before they bring over thousands of dollars worth of inventory to the house.

If the price is a point of hesitation, ask if there are any payment options. Remember we're here to help you sell houses quicker so don't walk away from that potential!


Here at The Final Stage, we just started offering a way to make payments through a program or get final payment when the house closes! We're all in this together and want that house sold too.

Overall, the price of a Staging is usually MUCH less than your first price drop (or "price improvement") so well worth the investment before you *try* listing it while empty.


MOVE-IN DAY

This is the exciting part since now we get to bring in the furniture we keep talking so much about! Again will vary from Stager to Stager so be sure to ask about a timeline for the move-in day and what they require to be completed before then.

Our team asks that no one else be on location during move-in for liability reasons- no fresh paint touch-ups or contractors on-site fixing one last thing. There's a lot of moving pieces and heavy couches getting moved in and out. As a business who does this a lot, it's best to let us have the space we need to work.

Don't worry! We'll let you know as soon as we're done so you can see it yourself. MONTHLY RENTAL: This may have come up during contract signing but most Stagers include a set amount of days included in price (The Final Stage includes 60 days from Move-in Day) and offers monthly rental rates to keep furniture in place longer if you need. Our goal is to get your house sold sooner but we know sometimes there's a need to keep things in place, as they are for a little longer. Ask what the rates are and how much notice they need before removal. REMOVAL: Move-out day I guess we can call it. Give your Staging company a heads up when you need the furniture out by. They have other jobs, warehouse space, movers schedules as well as packing up to do. Don't be the guy that calls and tells them they need everything out by tomorrow. Just don't. There may be fees associated with that. Double-check in that contract you signed.


Most stagers like to wait til they're past due diligence within a week of closing before removing to make sure nothing falls through.

You'd hate to have them move out too soon and then pay to move it all back in just a few weeks later. Communicate with your Staging Company of any changes while under contract and give 2 weeks heads before the closing date.


Hope this helps shed some light on the process of hiring a Home Stager or gives you ideas of what to ask when interviewing stagers in your area. If have any other questions, shoot me an email and I'll do my best to answer May your listing time be short and your offers be plenty! -Maggie

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