Staging Services: Wishes

Staging a Home for Sale: Seller’s Remarks and Wishes

Home after staging by Real Estaging
Home after staging by Real Estaging

If you’re a home seller, you want to get the best deal on your property. Who wouldn’t? But when you perform all the necessary maintenance and fix all the technical issues, it’s time to appeal to the emotional side of your buyers’ brains. Hinges that don’t squeak and faucets that don’t leak are a necessity, not a luxury. You won’t wow anybody with a house that merely functions. Instead, the house or condo that you’re selling has to have the looks, too!

If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, or think that you lack the necessary objectivity, maybe you should call up a home stager or a staging firm to help you set up your home. A better-looking home may not only attract a higher offer, but may also even attract multiple offers that will willingly compete for your dwelling. That’s why staging has the potential to improve the final price of your home significantly.

Depending on the size and worth of your property, staging may entail anything from moving the couch across the living room and washing the curtains to renting out stunning furniture and a complete repainting of the interior. In the end, you may need more than one professional to carry out the required facelift. Of course, if you’re selling a condo, the staging overhead is going to be much smaller.

What are the costs of staging?

This is one of the problems of staging: the uncertainty about the final cost. Some sellers hesitate to summon a stager because they’re afraid the expenses will fly through the roof. Whether you like it or not, stagers are by definition creative people and do not always provide a set list of services and products with predetermined prices. If one does not supervise the stager’s work, he or she may get carried away, despite his or her best intentions. This is definitely not true of all stagers, but it represents the perception of home sellers toward the profession as a whole.

Home before staging by Real Estaging
Home before staging by Real Estaging

In addition, the staging fee will sink into the property whether or not it eventually sells. This model does not fit with the commission-based mechanism applied to Realtors® because the stager gets paid regardless of the final outcome, whereas the agent only gets paid if and when the sale goes through. Unfortunately, this model does not quite fit with the repair-services model either, as the product of a stager is not entirely tangible and is thus harder to measure up. A handyman gets paid for fixing a rusting pipe or for silencing an air conditioner, but the work of a stager includes her or his artistic input and can be reversed by an unfortunate displacement of a few pieces of furniture by the home owners. What’s more, it’s nearly impossible to estimate the return on investment of staging services. For these reasons, sellers have a harder time justifying such an outlay.

Some Realtors® opine that home stagers should provide a special “menu” of services and products that home sellers could pick from. This would make it much easier to evaluate an offer and would eliminate much of the “haggle and hassle.”

Some even go as far as suggesting that stagers’ compensation should (at least in part) be contingent upon a successful home sale. It remains to be figured out how exactly this contingency would be taken care of in a contract (i.e. whether the stager should enter into an agreement with the agent or the seller or both), but it could be a good way to entice home sellers to use staging services. Such a setup would make the relationship with a stager more akin to that with an agent.

What do you think about home staging? Have you ever used staging services? Please let us know in the comments which of the innovations mentioned above you would most appreciate and why, and maybe Calgary Real Estate can take action in your name!

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