November 12, 2008
Whew it has been quite a 2 weeks! I must say, not been able to write and blog for the past 2 weeks haveÂ accumulated more guilt than a Catholic priest! Now we have a new president elect and my office finally has passed our fire inspection.
Anyway, back to normal staging channel…
I recently received an email from a gentleman who wanted to know if the staging price that his realtor quoted him was reasonable. He said, “I want to know if my realtor is overcharging me, he quoted me $BLAH for Blah square foot.” I also recently spent 20 minutes on the phone with a perspective client, who is a home owner. She is interviewing stagers and she asked if she can see what type of furniture the stager is going to use. The stager replied “Well, it’s going to be a surprise on the day of.” The perspective client told me she was shocked by the response since “as a customer, shouldn’t I know what I am paying for?”
Frankly, as I wrote before in other blogs such as #1 Question You Need to Ask Your New Stager, HowÂ A Stager Can Potentially Kill Your Deal, 6 Tips On How To Hire A Stager, Did You Hire Mr. Joe the Plumber to Stager Your House, and many other, there really are no industry regulation as to how someone would charge. My friend who is a realtor has gotten quotes ranging from $2500 to $5500 for a 1,100 square feet condo in San Francisco. So, how do you know if you are paying for the right person and for the right price?
The answer is IN YOUR PROPOSAL. A good proposal should tell you at least these 3 things:
- Is payment term laid out clearly for you as a customer? Items such as payment methods (cash, check, credit cards, etc.), terms (how long does the payment last for), etc. should be clear. If not, they should be able to answer you without blinking.
- Is the proposal professional? After all, you are selling this house. It’s a business transaction, so should the people you hire to maximize your return.
- Do you understand what type of furniture or style your stager uses? Even if they can’t pinpoint the exact chair they are placing into your home, you should at least be able to see a similar sample of style of furniture you will get.
As of getting “ripped off,” this is where you should ask for portfolio and references. A good stager should have strong references, portfolio and success stories to back those up. Don’t judge just by pricing. Just because s/he came in at lowest bid, doesn’t mean s/he doesn’t do good work. Same goes for the highest bidder.
Additionally, do your homework. They invent Google for a reason, use it to your advantage. Other sites such as LinkedIn, Yelp.com, are good reference points as well.
At last, once you hire the stager, you should TRUSTÂ his/hers professional opinions. For an experienced stager, this is not his/hers first rodeo. There is no need to question he/hers design decision every step of the way and then turn around and say: “I don’t know, you are the designer. Shouldn’t we do it like this?” If you compared all the proposals, you decided he/she is best to stage your home because his/hers pricing is fair and the work looks great, then you shouldn’t have any more doubts, especially if you already did your homework and make sure he/she is reputable.
I always smile when people ask: “Are you going to do a good job? Make it beautiful?” Because, really, I spent all this time building up a business, I am just going to throw all that money and blood and tears and sweat away by staging your house horribly?
Having a stager should be easy and pain free. Don’t you think?
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