Property Styling is hot right now, and for some very good reasons. A styled home will often sell faster and for more money and the stress of trying to present your property in the best possible light to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible as a non-designer is removed.
But, as is the case with every kind of business, not all home staging companies are created equal. As the concept of a staged home is relatively new in Australia it’s become a hot industry to get into, which means for every expert professional you encounter there are likely to be a few cowboys too.
So how do you choose the home staging company that’s right for you? Here are some pointers:
Ask for Referrals
A good Property Styling company will always have plenty of success stories to share. Some of these may come from direct homeowner clients and some may come from real estate agents who have worked with the company. The opinions of both parties are equally important. A homeowner is staking the success of a home sale of the stager they choose, a real estate agent is staking their reputation as well. So if they are willing to recommend a certain home staging company it stands to reason that their experiences with them must have been really good.
If you want to take your research a step further – and you probably should – check out the Property Styling company you are considering’s business profile on Google My Business (aka Google Maps) as people often leave positive reviews (or complaints) there too. Read their Google reviews!
Ask Lots of Questions
Before you sign a contract with a Property Styling company, and certainly before you let them set foot inside your property to begin work, it’s crucial you know what you getting for your money. So you need to ask lots of questions. For example, asking all of these questions (as appropriate in your situation of course) can help you make a better decision when choosing a home staging company:
- Do you charge extra for rental furniture, or is that included in your fees?
- What will happen to my old furniture?
- How long will my staging remain intact?
- Do you work with other contractors, ie people who do packing and removal, etc. and if so who are they?
- Are your stated fees all-inclusive or am I likely to incur extra charges as we go along?
When you first speak, or meet with a home staging company, have a list of all your questions prepared. If they can’t, or worse still won’t, answer them to your satisfaction then it’s time to call the next company on your list.
Do You Like Their Style?
Every good Property Styling company has a portfolio of past work that they will be able to offer you a look at. And the look you take should be a close one. Do you think that their work looks professional? Does it have that ‘magazine’ quality that so many home buyers are looking for? Do the looks they create seem to fit the homes – and the markets they work in – well?
One thing to remember, home staging is about – in large part – helping your property appeal to as many different buyer types as possible. So if the home staging company’s style does not quite match your own design aesthetic that may be something you have to look past. This is no longer about you and what you would like to have surrounding you, but what potential buyers would.
Can They Give You Evidence of Positive Results?
Home staging – and therefore, by extension, a Property Styling company – exists to increase the marketability of a home. If a company has done so successfully in the past they should be able to provide you with real-life examples – with facts and figures – of what they achieved. How fast did these homes sell? At what prices? Were these prices above the norm for the neighbourhood/homestyle? The fact is that if you are dealing with a really good home staging company you won’t have to ask for these proofs at all, they’ll be offered right away. So if they are not, that may be a bit of a red flag.
Do You Like Them as a Property Stylist?
This question is not as silly as it might sound at first. A home stager is going to be in and out of your home for at least a few days. Quite often at that. They are going to be taking a very close look at your home and your belongings. And given how intimate this relationship will be why would you consider working with someone you just don’t like? If you don’t like them, the Property Styling process is not going to be a great experience at all. And really, who needs more stress when selling their home, it’s already stressful enough!