How To Hire a Home Stager

Home stagers have the ability to show off your home’s best features. With some paint, some cleaning and decluttering, and some knowledgeable furniture placement, your home will shine above others in the same market.

The goal of home staging is to sell your home faster and for more money. Home stagers can do this because they know what the buyers want and know how to produce those “wants” in your home whether your home is a million dollar mansion or a modest starter home.

How do you know if a stager is a good one? Here are a few tips:

1. The stager knows the market. They know what the buyers in YOUR area want and expect. They stage your home accordingly.

2. If you are asking for more than a consultation (the stager will actually be doing the work in your home), you should be able to see before and after photos. These can be shown by the stager via the Internet or a brochure.

3. Like with many service providers, a great way to find out about a home stager’s experience and expertise is to ask around! If they are good, you will find others that tell you so. A good place to start is with real estate agents in your area.

4. Price does not equal experience and expertise. Once again, be sure that you see photos and ask around. New stagers may be a bit cheaper and have great expertise. Experienced stagers may be more expensive but have less expertise!

No matter who you pick, the stager should be able to transform your home into an incredible, sell-able house!

11 Expert Tips to Make a Small Home Feel Larger

As a professional home stager in Pasadena and Los Angeles, one of my primary jobs is to make smaller homes feel larger, or at least, feel as large as they really are.

Here’s a list of my expert home staging tips for making a small home feel larger. You can use these tips whether you are staging your home to sell or if you are planning to stay, but just need some help dealing with smaller rooms. These tips will work with either vacant or occupied homes:

1. Pare down what you need to have in a smaller room to the essentials. Do you really need a chair in your bedroom, or can you sit on the bed to put your shoes on?

2. Clutter makes a room feel smaller. Lots of smaller items, like your Hummel collection or your bowling trophies displayed on every horizontal surface, eat up visual space. Only display 3-5 items at a time. Store the rest and rotate them out of storage throughout the year. Not only will the room feel larger, but each item displayed will stand out more.

3. Use fewer pieces of furniture. Its better to have one larger dresser than 2 smaller ones.

4. Use appropriately sized furniture. Having a large sectional in a small family room will highlight how small the room is.

5. Cooler colors recede, so painting a room a pale blue, green or gray will make it feel larger.

6. Show more hardwood. The larger the expanse of hardwood, the larger the room will look. See how the room looks without an area rug.

7. Try using one larger area rug instead of several smaller rugs.

8. Use fewer patterns on upholstery and bedding. For instance, use a solid color blanket or bedspread on a bed in a small bedroom to make the room feel larger.

9. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger.

10. A well lit room feels larger.

11. Minimize window treatments. The simpler the better. Shutters, blinds or simple drapes (no flounces, ruffles, strong patterns or complicated valences) take up less “visual space”.

These home staging tips work if you are staging to sell or just want to make the home you are living in feel larger.

If you need some help figuring out how to make your home feel larger, consider hiring a professional home stager for a home staging consultation. You’ll get some expert home staging and interior design tips. Its the best home staging “bang for your buck” and it’s a great investment in preparing your home for sale, or making your home more livable if you are planning to stay.

Why Charging a Flat Fee Can Flat-Line Your Home Staging Business

The pricing structure (and items you charge for) you set up for your home staging services can either make or break your business. Good for you to follow your heart and get into a career you enjoy, but if you’re doing something you love and not making money, it’s not a business – it’s a hobby.

Even if you’re the best home stager in your city, if you charge a flat rate for your services, you could end up broke faster than you think. In fact, you could be setting yourself up to “flat-line” a business that could otherwise be extremely profitable.

Charging by the square foot or setting a flat rate per room is a common mistake that has ended more than one home stager’s career. Why? No two spaces are ever the same. It could take more time for you to stage a 900-square-foot condo than a 3,000-square-foot detached home. Why should you charge the same rate for both?

When you’re elbow deep in a project and realize it will take hours more to complete than you originally estimated it’s too late. By charging a flat rate instead of by the hour, you will have successfully undercut yourself!

There are several scenarios you’re likely to find yourself in if you do any amount of home staging at all. In these classic time-sucking situations, your flat rate couldn’t possibly compensate for the amount of time that’s wasted:

o Your home staging client has to tell you the entire background of each piece of furniture or art work in their home and why they love them all.

o Your staging consultation is interrupted dozens of times by a client that’s constantly taking phone calls or breaking up fights between screaming children.

o You find yourself elbow-deep in a project only to learn that the client has changed their mind about using your services.

o You end up in the midst of heaps of clutter that would rival an Oprah ‘hoarder’ episode, spending hours to go through your clients’ beloved items.

If you have the proper hourly pricing strategy in place, none of these time-suckers will matter. In fact, if clients like these are eating up your time, you’re making more money by charging hourly. However, if you charge by the square foot or by the room you will find yourself working for nothing much of the time. I’m sure you didn’t go into business for yourself to lose money.

If you don’t charge by the hour for your home staging services, you really need to reconsider your pricing strategy before you burnout from all the extra work you must do to make ends meet or your business flat-lines.

Why Home Stagers Are Busier Than Ever Helping Homeowners Try to Sell Their Homes

Home staging has become more popular as houses are sitting on the real estate market longer and longer and homeowners are trying to get their properties sold. Home staging is a business where a person certified in staging services prepares your home to look better by either rearranging the items that you already own or filling up an empty home to make it look more appealing to prospective buyers. With the real estate market at a near stand still having your home look better than others in the neighborhood at the same price point is imperative. Some of the tips in this article will include getting rid of personal items and extra furniture and putting them in mini storage buildings with roll up doors for later use in your new home.

One of the first tips a home stager will have you do to stage your home is to have you remove anything of a personal nature in your home. This would include personal photographs that may be on many tables and the mantel on your fireplace or even hanging on your walls. Family photos or portraits can be a large distraction to the prospective buyer and they may spend the whole time looking at those instead of your house when going through your home. Any other personal items should also be packed up and put in storage.

The best way to try to picture how your home should look when you are trying to sell it is to have it like a model home. This includes having smaller scaled furniture and probably not as much furniture too. Usually, double sized beds are used in master bedrooms to give the room a larger appearance than if you had your king sized bed in there. It is about creating the idea of more space to the buyer and letting them think that they are getting more for their money. If you hire a home stager, you most likely will have to rent a storage space to put all of the extra items in.

Another big component in home staging is to make it look like it is clean and nothing on it is dirty or old. This may require repainting some of the rooms to give it a cleaner appearance and hire a cleaning service to do a big deep cleaning on your home. If a prospective buyer sees your house as dirty they will wonder how well maintained the property is if you couldn’t even keep it clean. Removing all of the clutter from countertops in the kitchen and eliminating the knick knacks also helps a great deal.

Along with a clean looking house, having it smell good is also another great trick when prospective buyers tour your home. Baking fresh cookies right before an open house is a nice touch and will leave the visitors with a good memory of your home. Also, put out fresh flowers in some of the rooms makes a nice finishing touch to the space.