Sunday, August 12, 2012

Home Staging Essentials - 50 Tips To Get You Started on Your Home Staging Journey

"Home staging" was coined by Barb Schwarz back in the early '70s, and the concept has become well known as "house fluffing," "dressing to sell," and "home presentation" to name a few, but the concept has not taken hold among home owners when selling a home because many people do not understand the idea or cannot create a workable plan for staging their home correctly.
The focus of staging is to make a home more marketable by creating the most appealing home to the greatest number of prospective buyers. It should be impersonal enough not to infringe on a buyer's own sense of style.
Decorating is optional. Staging, on the other hand, is essential - that is if you want to sell your house for the most possible money in the shortest amount of time. Staging - it is the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.
Since home staging is truly an essential part of selling your home, I wanted to share these 50 Tips To Get You Started on Your Home Staging Journey.
1. Be sure that your home is staged before you or your realtor takes the photos for the web. Over 70% of all new apartment/home searches are started on the Internet. It is imperative that the property looks good in the photos so that it can attract as many people as possible to see the real thing.
2. You should not have one person look at your house until it has been staged completely. It should not go through the broker walkthrough, MLS, open houses, or anything. Stage first!
3. Kate Hart of Hart & Associates Staging and Design LLC knows that home staging works for all properties regardless of the price point because home staging is about preparing your home for a faster and more profitable sale and marketing your property to the most potential buyers for its target audience. "I have staged homes ranging from $100,000 to $10 million and have had the same result- the homes sell faster and for top dollar compared with the competitors within their price range."
4. If you have dark cabinets, a light colored handle or something in shiny gold will enhance them. If you have light cabinets, you can give them the sleek look by using handles of the same color so that they are hardly noticeable or by using brushed silver handles. With light wood, you can also use darker handles, gold, bronze, or even colors.
5. Sometimes renovations are needed. However, here are five that you should avoid:
· Adding high end appliances to a modest home
· Adding hand painted tiles to the bath or kitchen
· Adding a central vacuum
· Adding air conditioning (unless you are in an area that all homes have it)
· Replacing windows with newer models
6. Be sure to check with your city or county building inspector before beginning a new project. Many departments require permits, even for things as simple as changing a dishwasher.
7. Everything in its place is a good motto to remember. Always find appropriate places to store your items. Litter boxes in the kitchen and trashcans in the pantry are just two examples of inappropriate placement.
8. Julie Dana of The Home Stylist has the following tip: Do not have any cleaning products visible. You want the buyer to think that the house cleans itself. You do not want to remind buyers that there will be work to do in this house, so put away laundry baskets and dish drainers as well!
9. Lisa Wonsey of Space/Lift explains that selling an empty home can be a huge mistake. Buying or renting furniture is especially vital in an empty home. Empty homes do not show well and can sit on the market for months until a buyer with a good visual imagination comes along, or until the seller drops the price so low that the home is a steal.
10. Your refrigerator will need to be cleaned, even if you are not leaving it. People will still look inside and a dirty refrigerator will turn them off. If you are taking it with you, you may as well clean it now. If you are leaving it, then it is imperative to have it sparkling.
11. Ruthanne Hatfield of Art of Interior Placement emphasizes that taking away items is needed, but adding back is essential, too: Each room should be embellished with accessories artwork, mirrors, accent tables, silk trees and florals, as well as dishes, bedding, and towels so all areas look inviting.
12. Check for unusual odors in your house. It may come from a pet or even from your upholstery.
13. Cleaning is rarely fun for anyone, but it does not have to be a terrible chore. Play some fun, lively music. Before you know it, your adrenaline will start pumping and you will be dancing your way through the house.
14. To clean those irritating stains in the bathtub, make a paste by using hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar. Use an old toothbrush to rub the mixture into the stain and rinse thoroughly.
15. To clean the microwave, fill a paper cup with water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Nuke it for about 30 seconds, or until you see the contents explode. Then just take a paper towel and wipe it all off. The explosion spreads the cleanser over the entire area, and you can even use the moistened rag or paper towel to wipe outside the microwave and its surrounding area.
16. Mary Larsen of Larsen-Trochlil Designs offers the following professional tip: Do not offer money towards painting or installing new carpeting. Remember, if you are not willing to do it, your buyer is not likely to either.
17. Take a look around you. Do you have items in your home that are unused and have no real sentimental value? If so, get rid of them! These types of items can often be found in closets, cupboards, basements, and garages. Sometimes they are on bookshelves or even in your everyday living space. The more you are able to move out the more the next buyer will want to "move in."
18. If you do not have a plan for what to do with the stuff you no longer need, it will get put in the basement or the attic or the garage or simply stay in a pile in the room where it began. If this happens, then you really did not get rid of clutter - you just moved it to another location. When you are clearing the clutter for home staging purposes, you will have many different piles. Some things may go to a thrift store such as the Salvation Army, some things may go to the dump, some things may go into storage, and some things may be set aside for a garage or yard sale. Knowing what you are going to do with the extra clutter is essential to really decluttering your home.
19. Sylvia Beez of m.a.p. interiors inc. reminds us that: A home for sale should always be presented in its best light and immaculate condition, which is not the reality of everyday life. Potential buyers do not want to see how you live, with your children, cats and dogs, and mess. They want to see themselves in a perfect house under perfect conditions and that is how a home on the market should always be presented.
20. If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers - even your refrigerator - look jammed packed, it sends a negative message to the buyer. This message is that there is not enough room in your kitchen. If they were looking for plentiful storage space, after opening your crowded cupboards, they will believe that they will not find it in your kitchen. The best way to change this negative first impression is to have as much "empty space" as possible.
21. Marlene Feldman of Marlene Feldman Associates has the following suggestion for small dining rooms: If the dining room has an oversized china cabinet, consider removing it. Or, if has a top and bottom, remove the top. This will open up the space considerably
22. Take a look at your bathroom. If you are like most people, you will find half-used shampoo bottles, a jumble of hair accessories, a curling iron, foam curlers, several cans of shaving cream, tub toys, lotions, medication, books and magazines, oils, candles, toilet paper, and on and on and on. The amount of stuff we store in our bathrooms is far greater than the storage capacity for these small rooms, especially, if like many bathrooms, you have just a medicine cabinet and a very small vanity. The "stuff" that is not in use needs to be boxed up and moved out.
23. Katie Joanow of Star Staging explains that: You should remove extra chairs from the tables. Unless you have a massive space, you will not need more than 4 chairs around a table. Also remove extra leaves from the table. This will make the room feel larger.
24. Buyers want to see your carpet or your hardwood floor or your linoleum. Most home stagers suggest removing all area rugs, unless you have a large area of hardwood, where one rug is acceptable. Area rugs make spaces seem more crowded. Without them, your floor plan opens up.
25. Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. Perhaps the clutter is wrapping paper, or Christmas items, or an old sewing machine. Maybe you have some keepsakes, or photo albums. Then of course there are the extra clothes and shoes. None of these things are likely to be in the throw away pile, but they should not be in your closet if you want to reduce the look of clutter.
26. Gail Greer of All Rooms Great and Small gives this tip about painting your home: You need to be willing to change paint colors. There are certain universally accepted colors and these should be used when repainting your home. Yellow or shades of gold are warm and inviting. You should also accent with yellow. Your eye absorbs more yellow and therefore sees it first. Green or blue in the bedrooms are great colors because they are restful.
27. Stand a few feet away from the entrance to the bedroom. What do you see? Whatever you see is the first thing that a buyer will see. Is it pretty? Is it bulky? Does it make the room feel small? Move anything from the doorway that is not inviting.
28. A spare room should be viewed as a bonus. It is a "plus" feature of your home, but only if the buyers can view it as such. For example, if your spare room is used mostly as an office, then, during the selling process,you need to make it just that - an office! Get rid of the spare bed and the extra dressers full of last season's clothes. Get rid of the boxes of storage items in the closet. Keep the essentials of your office such as a desk, filing cabinet, bookshelf, and a nice chair in the corner with a small table and lamp.
29. Holly Weatherwax of Momentum Realty explains that whenever possible, she recommends leaving the garage free from storage. If people see that the seller does not have enough storage and has to use the garage, they will begin to wonder if the same thing will happen if they buy the house. People like to think that they might actually be able to use a garage!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Home Staging - Questions and Answers

Question: Do I really need to stage my house?
Answer: Home staging is recommended to homeowners who are serious about selling their house in the shortest amount of time. Think of this scenario: Two comparable houses are for sale in the same general area. House A was staged and is in prime showing condition. House B was not staged and may have some design issues. Which house do you think buyers will be more interested in? Statistics show us that homes which are professionally prepared for the real estate market sell in one-third less time than non-staged houses.
Question: My Realtor told me to wait to stage, is this good advise?
Answer: The sooner you stage your house, the better it will be for you. If your agent told you to not stage or to wait to stage, your Realtor may not have a complete understanding about the value of home staging. Some agents are concerned about recommending more out-of-pocket expenses for their clients. It is a noble concern but not a necessary one when considering home staging. Stagers work with real estate agents as a team, and most stagers will be happy to answer any questions that Realtors may have regarding the staging process. Realtors may not know it, but stagers may be their greatest asset in the marketing of a client's home.
Question: How do I choose a stager?
Answer: There are many things to look for when choosing a stager. Before you hire a stager, consider these qualifications:
  • Look for credentials. A good stager will be professionally trained in staging and design principles.
  • Ask for references. An experienced stager will have references and a photo gallery of personal projects.
  • Interview your stager. Most staging businesses are independently owned and will operate differently from each other.

Question: Can I stage my own house? or Can I have my friend stage my house?
Answer: It is best to use an independent staging consultant who has an objective view of your home. Professional stagers are specifically trained to find and remove the obstacles that could interfere with the sale of your house. Homeowners and friends who are familiar with a house may find it difficult to apply staging and design principles to areas in which they are emotional attached.
Question: Doesn't staging cost a lot of money?
Answer: Staging, like any quality service, is not free. Staging costs may range anywhere between $100 for a consultation evaluation to $2500 for full staging services, (Actual costs vary depending upon company pricing and location.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Benefits of Home Staging? Stager Puts Skeptic to the Challenge - Home Sells in 2 Days

"Staged home sell faster and for more money," says Barb Schwartz, the creator of home staging and owner of one of the largest home staging accreditation programs in the country, Stagedhomes. With the growing popularity of hit HGTV shows like Designed to Sell, Get it Sold, and Secrets that Sell, home staging has become one of the most popular marketing tools in real estate today and in some areas it's as expected as receiving a home inspection. Home staging is preparing a home for the real estate market by making all necessary repairs and creating a neutral environment that anyone can visualize living in. This is achieved using techniques such as decluttering, furniture rearrangement, color correction, careful accessorizing, and highlighting a homes best assets and architectural features.
Stagers believe no seller should sell their home before staging it and provide some interesting facts and statistics to back up their claims.
1. A 2007 survey of Accredited Staging Professionals by training company StagedHomes found that 94% of staged homes sold on average in one month or less. Homes that were staged spent 80% less time on the market than those that were not staged. It should also be considered that market, location, price, and condition all play a role in the successful sale of a home and these statistics would reflect a not only carefully planned staging but also strong pricing.
2. Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a home, according to Home Staging Resource, another large home staging training program. That means 90% of buyers cannot visualize size and scale. They need furnishings in place to give them a frame of reference.
3. It's easier for Realtors to show and sell their buyers a staged home because they know the property will be in pristine condition. Realtors are often more prone to attend broker open houses because staging creates a buzz and excitement in the industry. Thus increasing showings.
4. Professional Staging attracts the eye and creates a psychological appeal that draws buyers away from the negatives of a home and puts the focus on the positives.
5. Pictures and virtual tours are more enticing when staged. Powerful pictures will attract more buyers to a home when placed on the MLS and Realtor.com.
6. Staged home often appraise at a higher value. A 2007 HomeGain survey of 2,000 practitioners found that the return of investment from home staging was as much as 343%.
7. Providing a professional and objective eye, home stagers can tell a seller what will appeal to the current market and make suggestions such as remove grandma's pottery collection so that sellers will notice what they are buying, not what a seller isn't selling.
8. By neutralizing a property, buyers can visualize themselves living in a home, rather than the current owners.
Some skeptics, like Ana Zawadzki, believe a home can sell itself. "If a buyer likes the home enough," says Zawadzki, "They'll buy it no matter what it looks like." Despite skepticism, the Zawadzki's allowed Simplicity Home Staging & Design to help them stage their home. When their home had an offer the second day on the market, the family was convinced, "Staging really works."
Home staging is not decorating or interior design. Though some of the same design principals are used, the objectives are actually the opposite. Designers are personalizing a space while stagers are depersonalizing and neutralizing to help a home appeal to any buyer. Buyers considering staging their home, should consider consulting with a professional home stager who can guide them with the proper techniques to help their home look its best for a sale.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Starting a Home Staging Business - A Lucrative Business as a Home Stager Part 1

Entrepreneur Magazine recently named home staging as one of its Hot businesses for 2006. And with start-up costs of $1000 or less, barriers to entry are low. So you can jump right in with very little risk while you keep your current job.
Learn about home staging (hint: staging is also called "home redesign" or "interior redesign" or simply "redesign") by reading everything you can find on the subject. There are many great resources out there and they all explain the principles a little differently. You will probably take a special liking to a particular author's style, but it's good to read as much as you can. You'll be more comfortable working in the field if you've read all of the home staging books you can get your hands on. Not all of them agree on every point, and you will be able to decide for yourself what you think works the best after you gain a little experience.
You can find many types of home staging courses to sign up for.
Some home staging courses are home based while others are conducted in a seminar-style classroom format. The home staging courses that are classroom based are often weekend sessions set up in meeting rooms at hotels - not at a permanent home staging training school.
After your home staging course, you'll be ready to work on business building.
Practice on your own home and then branch out. You really do not need to get certified or attend expensive programs. The people selling those programs would very much like you to believe you can't enter the business without their backing. That just isn't true.
You can keep your current job because home staging is perfect for weekends. Start marketing yourself and use your cell phone as your business phone number. Change your voice-mail message to something professional sounding, stating your name and youe business name. Or just say "Jackie Riley, Professional Home Stager" for now. You do not need to come up with the perfect business name right now--don't get stuck on that part.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Home Staging and Real Estate Marketing - Top Ten Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Use Home Staging

1. Professionally staged homes stand out from the crowd.
A professional stager will examine the property with an objective eye and make recommendations to give the home that "wow" factor necessary to entice potential buyers. Did you know that only 10% of people can look past the clutter and unsightly decor in a home and see the potential of a property? First impressions mean everything in the real estate market, having a home professionally staged will ensure that those critical first 10 seconds of a showing are a deal maker, not a deal breaker.
2. Real Estate agents often make suggestions for improvements needed, but they aren't as detailed as a professional home stager.
Many realtors feel they provide adequate suggestions on repairs and changes needed to get a property sold, but usually these suggestions don't cover all the elements a home stager would. As a real estate agent you know most homes are purchased based on emotions, professional stagers will advise making all the obvious repairs and improvements needed, but they also help provide the emotional connection points throughout the home that make potential buyers fall in love. Most real estate agents don't have the design expertise to help their clients carry out a masterful home staging, and most homeowners don't have the knowledge, objectivity, or time to carry out the changes suggested.
3. Just because you recommend home staging for a listing does not mean you have to pay for it.
Although some real estate agents are opting to provide home staging for their clients as part of their fees and services, it is not the norm for agents to pay for staging. Recommending a professional home stager is just like recommending a home inspector. Your clients don't expect you to pay for the home inspection services, so why should they expect you to pay for home staging services? In the end, staging doesn't cost the homeowner a dime either, a 2007 Home Gain Survey of over 200 realtors reported that sellers who spent typically $500 on staging services for their home recovered over 343% of the cost in the sale of their home.
4. Home staging has been proven to help properties sell faster and for more money.
This is a clear win-win situation because turning the property quickly means less hassle for you and your client. Also, a higher sales price brings you more commission and benefits your clients' pocket book as well. Professionally staged homes sell over 50% faster than non-staged homes and on average for 6-10% more.
5. Your listings will show better if they are professionally staged and this will reflect well on your professionalism.
If you become known for always having properties that show well, other agents are more likely to show your homes, and homeowners will seek to have you as their listing agent. You will gain a reputation for turning homes fast when people notice your name on the lawn signs of all the "sold" homes in their neighborhood.
6. Stagers are experts in tackling sensitive topics in a diplomatic manner.
Stagers can relieve your anxiety of offending your clients by taking over the responsibility of discussing sensitive subjects like odor and unattractive decor. Home stagers will explain to your clients that they aren't there to put down their design choices or cleanliness; they just want to help their home appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. While the d├ęcor may suit their tastes, properties need to be neutralized before they are put on the market to attract as many buyers as possible. Professional home stagers will explain that the way you live in a home is very different from the way you present a house for sale.
7. Home Stagers free up your time to focus on what you do best.
Professional home stagers will take over the daunting task of preparing your listings for the market. This way you don't have to waste your time and efforts on something outside of your realm of expertise. Stagers will take your weak listings and turn them into "model homes" so that you can focus your efforts on your real estate skills. Having a property staged can help make the entire selling process easier because homes that are organized and free of clutter are seen as being well taken care of. This makes all aspects of selling a home go more smoothly from showing to inspection.
8. Having a home professionally staged provides you with eye-catching photography for your MLS and marketing materials.
According to the NAR Profile of Home buyers and Sellers 2008, "87% of all home buyers and 94% of buyers aged 25-44 used the internet to search for homes", this is why you need to have the strongest marketing photos possible. Many home buyers are eliminating properties from their viewing list based solely on the photos they see online. Having a home professionally staged will arm you with valuable marketing photos that will draw in the buyers.
9. Professional Stagers can prepare a home for sale more quickly than an agent or homeowner.
Some real estate agents and homeowners do have an eye for design, but home staging is not their profession. Professional home stagers prepare homes for sale day in and day out. They know the right contacts and have the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the most bang for your buck in the least amount of time.
10. Home staging is becoming the standard in the real estate market.
Home staging is growing more and more prevalent, especially in today's saturated real estate market. By not informing your clients about the benefits of home staging you are putting them at an immediate disadvantage. Leaving a property in "as is" condition will only help sell the competition, especially when the competition is already using home staging as a marketing tool. With the tough real estate market sellers are facing today, it's critical that you help your client put their best foot forward by recommending staging. Be sure to inform your sellers about the benefits of home staging, your clients will appreciate your suggestion to utilize one of the most innovative and successful marketing techniques in real estate today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Five Common Costly Mistakes Made by Untrained Home Staging Consultants

Selling a home is never easy. However, the challenges today seem overwhelming to most sellers. The main criteria for selling real estate have always been location, size, and price but never before have presentation and condition been as important as they are today. 95% of buyers are shopping first on the Internet and "driving-by" properties in a "click." Without a doubt, appealing website photos are the key to attracting buyer traffic. Visiting the property, buyers form first and lasting impressions within seconds. 90% of the population cannot visualize and base their judgments solely on what they see and how they feel, and research is proving that emotions play a much larger part of the decision making process than previously assumed.
In this tough market, buyers are also demanding and getting best value, so properties that are in good condition sell faster and for money. According to Barbara Corcoran, for every $1 a home seller does not invest in condition work, a buyer will deduct at least $3. Most buyers today are putting their full investment into the purchase price of the home and don't have extra money for any major work. In addition, the majority of buyers do not have the time or the desire for renovation.
As professional home stagers, we cannot influence location, size and price factors. Our role is to collaborate with agents and home sellers to prepare properties for the marketplace to sell for top dollar as quickly as possible. This is impossible without thorough attention to condition issues and enhanced presentation. A successful home staging process begins with a professional analytical consultation that includes specific recommendations for the homeowner. It is our responsibility not only to tell the seller what they need to do but also to make sure they understand the importance of staging and to motivate them to follow through with the recommendations. Otherwise, they will not achieve their objectives of selling quickly and for top dollar. In fact they may not be able to sell at all.
With so much at stake for home sellers, the staging consultation is critical to the preparation and marketing of the property. The expert advice trained staging consultants provide has significant financial importance. That is why real estate agents and home sellers should invest in trained professional home staging consultants. Unfortunately, many "stagers" are not trained and make serious mistakes that can be extremely costly to the home sellers. When the staging process is ineffective this can lead to longer time on the market, increased carrying costs for the seller, reduced selling price and increased stress. These are all extremely costly consequences for a home seller.
Here are five common costly mistakes made by untrained staging consultants:
1) They give away free consultations:
My view of this is "you get what you pay for." Trained professional home stagers understand the critical importance of the consultation as the first step in the staging process. They provide comprehensive room-by-room assessments and thorough, prioritized recommendations. They counsel, explain and motivate homeowners to invest in what needs to be done. The consultation should be value-rich. Free consultations are generally "meet and greet" with some general information about the benefits of staging. They are superficial and fail to capitalize on this opportunity to address all the important staging issues of the property. In many cases the lack of attention to detail and other omissions can lead to ineffective staging, longer time on the market and reduced selling prices.
2) They provide decorating advice versus marketing strategy:
Trained professional home stagers know that staging is not decorating - it's marketing. A room can be beautifully decorated, but fail from a staging perspective. Our focus is on showcasing the best features of the property, making rooms look as bright and spacious as possible and creating buyer appeal and wow impact. Our work is strategic, always considering the buyers' preferences and the camera's eye. Even if someone is a talented decorator, they may not be qualified to give you professional home staging advice.
3) They perform check-list style assessments but don't analyze and prioritize recommendations.
This really demonstrates the level of expertise of your consultant. The room-by-room assessment is just the beginning - it is simply information gathering. Identifying the key strengths of the property, and analyzing and prioritizing recommendations in respect to market trends, buyers' wish lists, and budget issues provides the homeowner with a clear understanding of not only what has to be done but why these actions are so important. This expert consulting advice helps sellers make the best financial decisions.
4) They don't know how to handle sensitive issues so avoid them.
Mastering the art of difficult conversations with home sellers is a key skill for professional home stagers. We are trained to address sensitive issues with home sellers and understand that it is imperative for us to do so. One strong negative impression can override a list of positive factors and prevent a sale. These sensitive issues can include odors, cleanliness problems, unattractive and dated decor, clutter, an abundance of religious items, provocative art, etc. A lack of understanding and or skill in handling these issues is not an excuse and avoiding them can be a very costly mistake.
5) They fail to motivate the client with an action plan.
Professional home stagers know that it is not enough just to tell home sellers what they need to do. The true test of an effective consultation is that the consultant has been able to motivate the sellers to follow through with the recommendations. Trained home staging consultants understand that the staging recommendations may seem overwhelming to their clients, but by outlining a feasible action plan, they will inspire confidence and demonstrate their ability to help with some or all of the process. Trained professional home stagers are serious business owners who are experts at consulting, design planning, problem solving, project management and showcasing. A home seller is far more likely to get the best advice, follow through with the necessary staging process and succeed at selling faster for top dollar if they invest in a consultation with a trained staging professional.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Home Staging - HGTV Shows Don't Reveal The Total Cost

HGTV has many great shows to offer particularly in the real estate and home staging world. As a highly sought-after Professional Home Stager in Orlando and Central Florida I get asked questions all the time about the price. Unlike the real world, here is what HGTV does and does not reveal about the TRUE cost of staging...
Like many do-it-yourselfers, designers and other interested homeowners, I love HGTV! They offer such a variety of shows that are so relevant and helpful to homeowners as well as buyers and seller participating in the real estate game. I particularly enjoy a special grouping of shows surrounding home staging. One of my favorite shows is 'GET IT SOLD'. Their star Sabrina Soto is wonderfully creative and she is someone that I can learn from. I do applaud them for actually helping bring awareness to the general public about the relatively new service called Home Staging. Many people still do not know what it is. It is the process of de-personalizing a home and making it buyer ready to appeal to a mass buyer audience by de-cluttering, purposefully arranging furniture and accessories and highlighting a home's best features while downplaying the negative ones.
Where Home Staging shows cause a bit of grief for us Professional Home Stagers, is in the area of pricing. Usually most of these shows tally up the cost per room or for individual materials to show you that it really isn't all that expensive to do it right the first time and get it staged. While I firmly believe staging a home is an absolute must for every home seller, since the idea is to appeal to a mass group of buyers, I don't agree with the pricing shown. Let's remember staging is almost always less than the cost of not staging so it really isn't an expensive process, it just is different than what the HGTV shows lead you to believe.
When you see that a four-bedroom home was staged for around $1500 including rental furniture, I really wonder where they rent from because their pricing isn't always realistic. Furthermore, nowhere in the total cost is the fee for staging indicated. Where is the labor cost?! There is always a labor fee and it can be very misleading for potential clients. When they think they can have their home completed for that same above price only to find that it is double or more because HGTV's pricing on rentals was not correct, that leaves a bad taste in a client's mouth and creates a false hope for home sellers.
Please beware when watching any of these shows that in real life there is always a fee for a Professional Home Stager to actually do the staging work. Unlike the show, generally the homeowner does not participate unless they want to. Most want to pay someone to have it completed while they spend their time on other tasks. The fee of the actual staging labor is made up of transportation for sometimes multiple trips, time to select accessories and rental furniture, the actual design creation, actual staging of all items, de-staging and removal of all accessories that belong to the Home Stager. A professional stager spends much of their staging time lifting, pushing, pulling, hanging, carrying as well as the creative process to put it all together which makes your home sparkle.