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Just a few years ago there were only a few design professionals working as home stagers in Houston. That’s something that’s changed – and is changing – a lot as the concept becomes more and more popular with homeowners hoping to sell their property faster and for the best possible price.
Now that there are more Houston home stagers in business, choosing the right one for you – and your home – has become a little more complicated. However, by taking the time to ask the right questions during an initial interview with a home stager you are considering hiring you should be able to determine more easily if this is the home staging professional who is the right choice for staging your home.
Here’s a look at some of the most important:
How Long Have You Been in Business? What Training Do You Have?
There is no formal accreditation for home stagers in Houston and as I mentioned, this is a relatively new industry. However, you do need to understand how the candidate you are considering came by their skills and how long they have been making use of them.
Many home stagers are decorating and/or organizing professionals by training and have made a professional shift from general work to home staging work. And there are qualifications they can obtain voluntarily.
For example, Taya Wright – that’s me – the team leader of our Houston home staging team, am a RESA certified home stager, which means that the Real Estate Staging Association approves of my work. Our company also enjoys an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
But an eye for design is not the only thing a great home stager needs to possess. They need to have a good understanding of the real estate markets they work in and the types of people who live – and buy homes – there. If they seem to have that knowledge it’s a good sign that you might be on the right track.
There are, it’s also worth noting, some brilliant home stagers that do not have a formal degree in design. And that may be just fine, as long as they have the skills to get the job done. And that is often something you can determine by asking the next question I recommend you do.
Can I See Your Portfolio?
Every home staging professional has a portfolio, or at least they should have. However, some less experienced, less scrupulous people might present on that contains images of work they have not actually performed themselves.
Therefore, when you are reviewing their portfolio ask specific questions about how the looks were achieved, where the properties were located and how long the process took. If their answers don’t sound very convincing that may be a sign that the work is not their own.
How Familiar Are You With My Area?
As previously mentioned, the best home stagers understand the ins and outs of the real estate market. But in order for them to do the best possible job for you, it’s important that they understand the unique ‘real estate landscape’ in the specific area where your property is located.
After all, staging a home in the heart of a big city like Houston is rather different from staging one located out in a quiet suburb just outside it. The more familiar a home stager is with your area the more likely they are to be able to give your home a look that will appeal to the majority of the home buyers looking for property in your neighborhood.
What Are Your Rates and What Will Be Included?
There is obviously no standard fee for Houston home staging and, if you do the right thing and ‘shop around’ a little you will find that the fees charged by different home stagers can vary quite significantly. Many home staging professionals also offer different packages according to the level and scope of services each client needs from them.
Choosing a home stager based on their basic rates alone may be a mistake though. Some stagers advertise a low fee – one lower than their competitors anyway – but then hit their clients with a number of additional fees further down the line.
Before you sign a contract of any kind make sure you understand exactly what is included, what is not included and what extra fees you might incur. Doing so will save you from any nasty financial surprises once the project has begun and get the relationship between you and your chosen home stager of to a good, honest start.