Staging is quickly becoming a mainstream career. Home staging wasn’t even heard of twelve years ago when I staged my first home. A real estate agent friend of mine living in California told me how they staged there, and I thought I would be good at it. I mentioned this to another real estate friend who soon found me my first home to stage. I now do it more then full time. About 1200 homes last year, and this year will be even more.
With all of the television shows discussing or showing staging, I no longer need to explain to people what it is I do. Most just comment on how fun it must be! It really is a very fun and satisfying career, but also very hard work. Which brings us to this topic, that not all stagers are the same. I run across many stagers that charge a large amount of money for not so great furniture. Some even buy from craigslist. In fact, my operations manager was selling his 10 year old used furniture and was contacted by three different staging companies wanting to purchase it. All I could think was, “Nooooo”! Staging is to give a home that updated look, not to just decorate it with any old couch or chair and some throw pillows. It is super important that the stager you choose has a portfolio of their work. You want to know that all of the furniture they use is their own.
Now, I am not saying not to choose a stager that is new to this business, just be clear on your expectations. You should expect that they provide unused furniture and are willing to purchase a special piece if your home needs it. Do they offer a wide variety of accessories, understand furniture placement for every type of home, have the knowledge of the best lighting to show your home at its best. Are they willing to make your home be important. To stop the car on the road because they can’t drive any further and trudge the rest of the way through deep snow just to get the photos of your home so they can stage it correctly. (as I actually just did today. No joke) 🙂 …and all of the other subjects that I touch on in my blogs.
Lastly, I know that your neighbor, family member, or friend may have a strong opinion on how your home is staged, but let your stager help you with the final look. Value the unbiased opinion of a stager on the final layout and decoration. We see thousands of homes every year and want yours to show its true potential. It does not need to scream “You”, it needs to show how that awkward space or small room can be used. How an older home can look fresh, or a smaller one look large. Remember, you are not decorating the home that you plan on living in, you are having it staged to show off its best potential and features to its future owners.
Final Thought…Pick a stager that is committed and passionate enough about their career/business to have acquired the knowledge and tools to stage your home properly.