With the popularity of HGTV “do-it-yourself” (DIY) shows on the rise, many crafty home owners feel they can tackle the task of preparing their home for sale and save a few dollars by staging their homes on their own.
If a home owner makes mistakes in judgment, invest their dollars in areas that will not give a great return, they will end up spending more money than anticipated and may still have to call in a professional home stager in the long run to make corrections. These errors can cost dollars and time that a home owner may not have.
The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) recommends a home owner take this short quiz to determine if DIY is the best solution or, if hiring a professional real estate stager will ultimately save them time and money.
DIY vs. PRO Quiz
Yes or No Are you able to do heavy lifting?
Yes or No Do you like physical work?
Yes or No Do you have the time to be able to complete the project on schedule?
Yes or No Do you have the skill set to complete all the tasks?
Yes or No Do your family members work well together during times of stress?
Yes or No Do you understand all of the areas that need to be addressed and how to address them?
Yes or No If you run into problems do you have time to call in professionals for assistance?
Yes or No Will you be able to obtain the materials you need at affordable pricing? Example, lamps, accessories, artwork, etc.
Yes or No Have you considered all of your costs, including the cost of materials, your time, and the tools you need to purchase?
Yes or No Can you afford to pay a professional to correct mistakes?
Yes or No Do you understand current market conditions?
Yes or No Do you understand how color and lighting affects buyers?
Yes or No Do you understand how furniture placement affects buyers?
If you answered yes to 9 or more of these questions, you might attempt a DIY staging. But, before you decide to go it on your own, review the questions you marked “No” and take into consideration the potential complications you will likely encounter. Hiring a professional will most likely be your best choice.
Once you have decided to hire a professional real estate stager, here are some benefits that you will be able to take advantage of:
- Professional stagers develop relationships with industry partners like painters, carpet installers, carpet cleaners, roof repair, etc. These relationships can benefit you because stagers can pass on savings. In addition, you will gain peace of mind knowing you are more likely to get quality service from people they work with on a regular basis.
- Professional stagers can “see what the buyer sees”. Buying decisions are made very quickly. Professional stagers know how those decisions are made and create an environment that allows for a favorable decision to be made when buyers look at a property.
- 84% of buyers (some estimates are higher) look on the Internet to preview homes before they go to see a home in person. Properties with beautiful photographs will be looked at first. Photographs of properties that have been staged look better and the MLS than photos of non-staged properties.
- Most stagers provide additional website presence through blogging or on-line flyers. Additional web presence means more prospective buyers may see your home.
- If you are on a budget, a professional stager will be able to tell you where to invest your dollars for the best return. They will be able to make recommendations on everything from paint choices to knowing when to replace or update items and knowing what stays and what should be packed up.
Not all real estate stagers are considered equal. Finding the right real estate stager will ensure a positive outcome for both the home owner and real estate agent.
Here are some tips that will help you screen a professional real estate stager:
- Interview 2 or 3 stagers. BEWARE of stagers that come in with a bid that is much lower than the rest. Being the “low price leader” is not a quality you should look for. You get what you pay for. Quality should be your priority.
- View their website and portfolio. Does their website give a “DIY” feel or is it professional? If a business owner cannot invest in their own business with professional marketing materials and website, it could be a sign they are running their business like a hobby.
- Ask for references, including phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses. Check those references and ask whether they would hire that stager again.
If you need assistance in locating a professional real estate stager, visit www.RealEstateStagingAssciation.com and click “Find a Stager” on the menu.