At this time there is no independent national organization such as ARIDO for interior designers, or OREA for Realtors that certifies or licenses Home Stagers, and no government oversight or licensing.Therefore, just like hiring a contractor‚Ä¶ you need to choose carefully‚Ä¶after all, you are selling your most valuable asset, YOUR HOME!
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU SELECT THE RIGHT STAGER TO HELP YOU SELL YOUR HOME:
- Experience and professionalism.¬†Hire the stager with the most real world experience, not the stager with the most letters behind their name, although they may be one and the same.
- Ask to see their portfolio -¬†either on line or hard copy. If they don’t have a staging portfolio, in all probability they have never done a staging job, or have never done a good staging job.
- Are you really impressed?¬†If you were looking for a house to buy like the ones in their photos, and you saw those photos on MLS, would you ask your Realtor to make an appointment to see that house/condo?Range of ability Does their portfolio show a wide range of properties in different price brackets or is it all one house/condo? It is important the stager understands what YOUR home needs, and is not just repeating what they do in every home.
- Are the photos of their own work?¬†Ask questions about the house in the photo, such as area etc. You will see by heir answer if they staged that house by their knowledge of the details in it.
- Does the Stager have a good source for furniture?¬†Find out if the stager rents furniture from another source or owns the furniture they will be using in your staging project. Make sure that the furniture that they will be using is appropriate to the style of your home and not just what they happen to have in their inventory at that time.
- Ask for references!¬†Including phone numbers and/or email addresses. Check those references. Ask the reference if they would hire that stager again. An experienced stager will be more than happy to give you a list of Realtors or home owners they have worked with in the past. Calling Realtors is easier ‚Äď they are usually easier to get a hold of, and probably have worked with the stager more than once so they will probably have a better overview for you.
- Ask to see a house that is on the market at the moment -¬†a busy stager will always have something on the go, they can get you the address and you can visit with your realtor. Yes it requires some time on your part, but if you are un-sure, this is the way to be sure. It will also give you indication if the stager is busy or has been off for a while/starting out.
- Liability Insurance -¬†find out if they have liability insurance. If the stager is not insured, then the homeowner may be liable for any damages or injuries that may occur as a result of the staging.¬†All employees and helpers the company uses should be covered by Workers Comp insurance ‚Äď this is the law in Canada.
- Is there a contract?¬†Make sure you are given a clearly written contract and that you understand all aspects of the contract. If you don’t understand something, or something that you discussed is not in writing, ask for clarification.
- Extra fees -¬†If you are renting pieces for your house, find out what the fee is for extra months if needed. This may change your mind of the original price.
- Gut feeling -¬†Do you get a good feeling from meeting the stager? Do they seem to know what they are talking about? organized? Do they answer all your questions? Do they make notes or take photographs?
- Remember – YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. You are selling your most valuable asset, your home. Look for the staging professional with the greatest competency, experience and professionalism, rather than the cheapest price.