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.

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