What to Ask a Potential Home Stager Before Hiring One

If selling your home quickly and for as much money as possible is what you’re after, then hiring a professional home stager can be the secret sauce that you’re looking for. While there are certainly many components to successfully selling a home, home staging is often one of them.

By staging your home appropriately, you can give buyers exactly what they’re looking for. You can sell the lifestyle that buyers want and can help to foster a connection between buyers and your home, which is what will prompt them to put in a handsome offer.

But before you hire the first home stager that you come across, you’ll want to make sure they’re the right fit for the job. Much like you would scope out other professionals, you’ll also want to take the time to make sure you’re choosing the right home stager for the job.

Here are a few important questions you should ask home staging prospects before choosing the perfect one.

What Are Your Credentials?

Professional home stagers shouldn’t just be trained in interior decor; they should be specifically trained for home staging. There are certain accredited home staging institutions out there that train and qualify stagers for this unique type of job, and the stager you hire should be able to prove such qualifications.

Are You Insured?

All home stagers – just like any other professional service provider yo hire – should be insured. This is an absolute must for liability purposes. If anything should happen at your home while they were working, you don’t have to be held liable. Make sure to ask about any other people that they work with as well, such as contractors, and make sure everyone involved in also insured.

What Type of Experience Do You Have in This Specific Location?

Not only should the stager be formally trained in staging and have received certification from an accredited institution, but they should also have some level of experience on the job.

Ideally, the stager will also have plenty of experience selling homes in your particular area, as buyers tend to differ from one area to the next. What buyers might be looking for in one city may be different from what they’re looking for in another.

Have You Received Any Accolades For Your Work?

While this isn’t exactly a deal-breaker, having a stager who has been recognized for their outstanding work by magazines, blogs, home improvement websites, and other institutions certainly helps. For instance, if the home stager has received an award from Houzz, you can be more certain that you’re hiring someone who is more than competent for the job.

Can I See Your Portfolio?

Every professional home stager should have a portfolio that they can quickly show to prospective clients. Whether the portfolio is a physical photo book or is online, it’s imperative that you have the chance to see the stager’s previous works before hiring them. That way you can get a sense of the type of work that the stager does.

When looking through the stager’s portfolio, make sure they depict a range of decorative styles so that there’s no concern of every property looking exactly the same. Ideally, all of their staged properties should not be specific to any particular taste so that they appeal to a broad range of buyers. That said, the stager should also keep your home’s style, location, and demographics in mind when staging as well.

What is Your Track Record of Helping to Sell Homes?

Consider the projects that the home stager has worked on in the past. Did they help to sell the homes quickly? How much did the homes sell for? Having a track record of helping sellers sell their homes quickly and for top dollar can provide you with more confidence that they can do the same for you.

Do They Have Experience With the Type of Home You’re Selling?

The home stager you are interviewing might have a lot of experience successfully staging condos downtown, but what if the home you’re selling is a luxury home in the suburbs? Would they know what to do with your home to help sell it successfully within the price range you’re shooting for?

Have they worked on homes within your price range? Would they know what type of furniture and decor would be required to make a statement with a home like yours? Specific experience can play a key role in whether or not the stager will know what to do with your home to help get it sold.

How Much Do You Charge?

You’re obviously going to want to know how much it’s going to cost you to have the stager stage your home for the market. That’s a valid question to ask. The cost of home staging can range quite a bit from one stager to the next, so you’ll want to gather prices for comparison purposes.

That said, keep in mind that whatever you might be paying up front will likely be recouped when you finally sell your home. It’s been shown that homes that are professionally staged can fetch higher sale prices compared to those that are not staged. You may be able to increase the perceived value of your home and convince buyers to pay more for it, which should more than cover the cost of paying your home stager.

Is There a Contract Involved?

In order to make sure that you know exactly what you’ll be getting from your home stager, a contract should be drafted that itemizes all services and details the tasks involved, including prices, timelines, schedules, and expectations. Professional home stagers will always provide a contract for both of you to sign that will protect both you and the stager.

The Bottom Line

There are definitely certain perks to having your home staged by a professional. But with all the stagers that are out there, you want to make sure that you hire one who has the credentials and experience in your area and with the type of home you have to ensure a successful outcome. And the best way to verify that you’re choosing the right one is to ask the right questions.