When you're in the market to sell your home in Calgary, depending on your property and it's state, one of the best services and decisions you can make is to hire a professional stager. Recent studies have indicated that some of the biggest factors to getting your home sold and upping its desirability fall heavily under two categories, how clean it is, and how well it's staged. Today we're going to deep dive into 12 questions that you need to ask any home staging company before you hire them!
Public Service Announcement - Ask your local and favorite real estate team as well who they might recommend, a reputable real estate team will be able to quickly provide you with a list of home staging companies that can achieve the results you expect and deserve.
1. Ask To See Their Portfolio.
There's nothing better than seeing it for yourself! Before you hire a Calgary home stager to start work on your home, request to see their portfolio! A reputable home stager who is experienced should also have a variety of home styles that are similar to your home, so ask to see those in particular! When reviewing the photos, ask for high resolution copies, and let them explain their thought process on how and why they staged each property the way they did.
2. What Is Their Preferred Style For Your Market?
Getting a familiar understanding of the stagers overall feel and style will help you feel more comfortable about the process and knowing whether your home will be listed to its full potential. Sometimes your vision of what the home will look like simply wont align with vision of the stager, and at this point you need to decide whether they're in tune with the market and the potential buyers for your property, or whether you should explore other options or meet somewhere in the middle to have your home staged.
3. Budgeting and Contracts
One of the first things that comes up with a home stager is how much they charge and what their contract looks like! A professional home stager will be able to provide you estimates for all work to be done, proposals from partners they work with, and be okay with you obtaining other pricing before committing. Their contracts should outline all services, the schedule of deliverables, budget, cancellation costs, etc. Like any good business, a home stager should have no problem sending their contract to you for review beforehand, and have no issues with discussing the terms within.
4. Experienced and Qualifications
Much like any interview, knowing an individuals experiences and qualifications goes an extremely long way! The whole point of hiring a home staging service company is to effectively maximize your investments return on investment and getting the highest sale price for your home. Hiring someone who is exceptional, professionally trained, and has years of experience could make or break the overall outcome of your home stagings effectiveness.
Bonus tip - Ask your stager if they actively track the average days on market their homes are up for sale, while there are a whole other set of variables in this, this metric can be a great indicator on how well their staging aides in getting homes sold.
5. Preferred Service Vendors
In our experience, a great home stager will be well connected in their field, whether you need a painter, cleaner, or general handyman, a home stager that is reputable and effective will have a list of partners that they recommend routinely for staging fixes and purposes.
6. Review & Testimonials
From written testimonials to online reviews whether it be on Google, Yelp, or any other reviewing platform, your stager should have plenty of testimonials and reviews to back up their work! Like any good business a well maintained business will actively request and obtain reviews from past clients, these will give you further confidence in your choice and confirm their abilities.
7. Online & Social Presence
Like any business today, having a well designed and maintained website, with blogging, information, and complete service coverage goes a long way for consumer confidence in their services. An active home stager on social media will demonstrate and showcase some of the previous questions you should ask, including before and afters, current properties staged, reviews, and much more.
8. External Marketing
Does your stager go above and beyond? After all, the goal with any good Calgary real estate agent is to get your home in front of as many qualified buyers as possible, stagers who are active and reputable in the industry will be well connected with other industry members and past/current clients. Will they share your home on social media and provide details on how to book a showing with your agent? While some may not, a great home stager will happily promote and show your home off to their followers in a cohesive effort to help get it sold!
Like real estate agents, photographers, measurement companies, lawyers, trades, and mortgage brokers, anyone working on the sale of your home should be insured for the work they do. This should be high up on the priority list for you and your selection of a staging company. This doesn't mean that they're careless or do bad work, it simply means mistakes can happen and just like car insurance, having financial responsibility in place is great for all parties involved.
10. Proof Of Concept
Our team has many of these, so your home stager should as well. We've picked up many listings which truly just needed a little TLC. Homes that sit on the market for weeks, months, and up to a year with no action or offers, only to be sold in competing offers once they're listed with the powerful combination of staging and proper marketing. When a home has mediocre photos, sits vacant, and isn't clean / staged, it can be incredibly hard for buyers to walk in and feel like they're home. Having a professional real estate team and stager to come in to work with you the seller often results in achieving the results you expected from the onset.
11. Can They Cut costs?
Many great home staging companies will perform a lot of the work themselves, but not all budgets are friendly to this mindset, and often times clients are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves to perform some of the work, whether its a bit of cleaning, purchasing of a few items to enhance the home, ask your stager if there are routes you can explore to save on costs by putting a small amount of work in yourself through their guidance and expertise.
12. What's Their Vision Of Your Home?
Last, but definitely not least, ask your stager what their vision is for your home! It may be an obvious question, but in the past we've seen clients take the hands off approach, even when they may not be the hands off type of personality, and the vision of where your home should be in your eyes vs where the staging company takes it may vary greatly. If you're invested in the outcome and results and don't want your stager to take the wheel and drive off into the sunset with your staging, ask them how they envision seeing your home.