If you are in the market to sell your Iowa Great Lakes home, one of the best decisions you can make is to use the services of an experienced and professional home stager. Hiring a home stager will be just as critical to your real estate success as an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent is to the selling of your home. The home staging industry has become quite popular, but not all home stagers are created equal. Finding the most suitable professional to help set your listing apart from the rest is not a simple task, so here are 10 helpful questions to ask before hiring a home stager.
1.What is Your Work Experience?
Investing in home staging services can be an expensive investment, and the intention of pursuing such a service is to help the process of selling your home while getting a decent ROI. Your home is one of your most valuable assets, which is why it's in your best interest to work with someone who is professionally qualified with at least a few years of experience in their portfolio.
Be sure to ask what kind of training and certifications they’ve received as a home stager, as well as the amount of time they've been in business for actively staging properties. A way of evaluating their proficiency is to ask how many average days their staged homes were on the market for last year.
2. Are You Insured?
A service provider should never work on your house except if they're insured. Next to having experience, being insured is at the top of the priority list when it comes to hiring a home stager for liability reasons. Inquire about the resources they work with and ask if they're insured, as well as if their business is covered by insurance.
3. Can You Show Me Your Portfolio?
Before you can make a decision based on whether or not their services suit your needs, requesting to view a portfolio of their work is the best way to see if their services will be of help to you in your Okoboji real estate success. Ask to see photos of their current projects. It’s also a good idea to see if they have any projects that are comparable to your home.
Look for professional quality and cohesiveness in photos with company labels. A home stager should provide you with before and after photos of their work to give you a better sense of their skill. Notice if they’re able to explain their thought process behind their work. Ask if their work is a collaboration or if it’s just their own, and be sure to ask if their photos are their own.
4. What is Your Market Familiarity?
It's good to know if your potential home stager has worked in your market before, or if they're at least acquainted with your market. A decent home stager should know the expectations of the buyers in your house price range and market. Ask if they’ve experienced any successes or barriers in your market. Inquire about the price range of homes they typically work with, as this will help you know if they're the right fit. The more questions you can ask, the more informed you'll both be.
5. What is Your Specific Style?
Knowing what a home stager is capable of providing in terms of style and aesthetic is another way to see if they'll be successful in showing your home at its best. Glancing at their portfolio is a strong indicator if their talent and quality of work is something that can sell your home for top dollar. It’s a good idea to flush out the details of what a home stager has in mind for your property.
6. Do You Have Testimonials and References?
With so many things to plan when staging a house, asking for testimonials, references, websites, or any social media accounts can be forgotten during the hiring process. Needless to say, it's a good idea to see what people are saying about their business, as well as seeing how they promote themselves and their brand.
7. Will You Provide a Budget and Contract?
Inquiring about rates and availability are the first things to ask before contracts take place. Since many home staging services do not have a set price, it's best to get estimates, proposals, and bids from a few home stagers before committing. Make sure there is a clear understanding what you will get from their services. A professional will certainly provide you with a contract that clearly defines expectations, schedules, proposals, and budgets. Keep in mind that if a home stager can’t meet your timeframe, their services will be of no help to you in selling your property.
8. Will You Make A Marketing Plan?
Sometimes it takes a little more than having an awesome REALTOR® and staging service to sell a house! Ask a home stager if they have ideas that will get more people through the door. Some will agree to promote your home on Instagram or Facebook, while others will come co-host an event at the home to showcase it’s new look.
9. Do You Have Preferred Business Services?
Depending on how successful or well-connected a service provider is, they will have a list of tradespeople they work with. You may need painters, window cleaners, carpet cleaners, handymen, and floor refinishers to get the job done. Make sure to check out these services before you do business with anyone.
10. What Can I Do To Help?
Unless you have no interest in being involved with staging, it’s a good idea to see what you can do to stay on budget, or help speed up the process. Most home stagers will let you know what you can do in order to cut some costs. Once you've signed the contract, they should be willing to point out details you can do to make your place shine.