Selling a home can often be challenging. After all, you need to present your house as a space that prospective buyers can see themselves living in. CNBC’s feature on home sales shows that the pandemic has caused a significant spike. Home sales in 2020 are 19% higher than they were in 2019, hitting the highest level since 2006. The housing market also saw record-low inventory and high prices, suggesting it’s a good time to sell a home.
Despite this, it’s still advisable to hire a home stager. Professionals can help make your house more attractive — creating better first impressions and leading to a quicker, more profitable sale. However, it’s important that you hire a home stager that you can trust with your property. So to find the most suitable home stager for you, here are three questions to ask a home stager before signing a contract.
What’s your experience?
Your house is a very valuable asset, and you’ll want to sell it with a good ROI. Ideally, you should hire someone who’s professionally qualified and has years of work experience. Still, you shouldn’t discount amateurs; you can ask them about their educational background and training instead. If they’ve graduated with an interior design degree, you can check their portfolio to get an idea of their style.
You can also ask if they’ve worked with a house similar to yours, maybe in terms of having a large outdoor space, for example. In this case, you can ask them their ideas — as our ‘Why Staging The Outdoor Space is a Must’ write-up explains, these spaces add interest and value to your home. This way, you’re showing prospective buyers that the outdoor space is as much a part of the lifestyle they can have, rather than just the indoor space. Remember, you’re hiring more than just a person, you’re also hiring ideas.
What are your contract terms?
One of the first things to ask about is the stager’s rates and availability. Estimates vary depending on your needs, such as the size of your home. You should know how much you’re paying, when payments are due, and for which services you’re paying for. Most reputable stagers will include all expectations, schedules, proposals, and budgets in their terms. Typically, they would require a deposit before they begin, then ask for partial payment based on the work completed. You should also check for a renegotiation clause should a project take longer to complete, especially if staging items are on loan.
Do consider the most efficient mode of payment for you. If the price for staging your home is more than you think you can currently pay upfront, using a credit card can buy you extra time. An article on credit scores published by AskMoney notes that using your card is a good opportunity to raise your score, especially if you pay your home staging dues on time. Do check your credit amount before making any big financial decisions.
Are you insured?
A reputable company knows how to properly handle furniture in all situations. We take the utmost care while in your home to ensure nothing is damaged during staging or de-staging. However, in the instance something does happen, it is important to ensure your staging is covered. Insurance can compensate damages to your property or injuries sustained related to the work. Working with an insured company allows you to focus on the project,
rather than worrying about possible financial losses.
The most common and comprehensive kind of insurance policy is general liability insurance. The Balance’s discussion on general liability insurance lists the coverage of the policy; it includes bodily injury and property damage, personal and advertising injury, and medical payments. Certain information should also be outlined in your contract terms and discussed during your initial consultation. It would be smart to provide specific details such as “soft hardwood flooring,” so a staging company can take additional precautions.
If you are looking to sell your home soon, we hope the above questions prove useful.
Exclusively written for seattlestagedtosell.com by Jillian Dawson
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