You've decided to sell your house, either on your own or with a Real Estate Agent. You know that you'll get a quicker sale and mostly likely more money if your home is staged before putting it on the market, so how do you decide which Home Stager to hire? Here are a few guidelines to follow.
It's a good idea to do a phone interview with a Home Stager before deciding to hire them. Make sure you feel comfortable with the person before bringing them to your home for a Home Staging Consultation.
During the Consultation, the Home Stager should be objective about your rooms, evaluating each room with the eye of a highly critical buyer and finding solutions with the eye of an experienced Home Stager! He or she will begin with a general walk through of your home to get an overview of the style of your house and the contents, paying attention to the flow between rooms, how many rooms you have and what the likely target market is for your home. They'll also evaluate whether the current use of each room is optimal when decorating to sell, eg., if the dining room is being used as a playroom, it should really be shown as a dining room, which would attract more buyers. After the initial walk-through, the stager should go back to each room and then provide you with a detailed plan for what needs to be done to turn your house into a show home.
Remember that none of this advice is personal - you are selling your home and it is time to turn it into a product that the maximum number of potential buyers will fall in love with.
So at the end of the Home Staging Consultation you will have a to do list of recommendations and it is completely up to you how many of the items in the plan you want to follow through with. If there are things that need to be done that you can't do yourself, i.e., painting, changing light fixtures, plumbing, etc. the stager can provide you with names of contractors if required.
So the bottom line is that with an investment of only a few hours and a few hundred dollars you'll have a complete plan of what needs to be done, and you can choose to do it all or just part of it (the stager will be able to help you prioritize the items on the list).
Something to keep in mind, your home staging investment will be less than your first price reduction if your house doesn't sell. And, if you follow all recommendations, you'll be setting the stage for potentially selling within days at above asking price.