Professional Home Staging vs. DIY
When your house is on the market, staging is a valuable tool to help buyers imagine your space as their future home. Well-organized rooms, curated decor and small personal touches bring out your home’s best features and communicate its full potential to buyers. Without a doubt, staged homes sell more quickly than unstaged homes.
Though staging is worth it, you may be wondering if you should hire a professional home stager or complete the task on your own. Sellers may opt for DIY staging to save money, but professional staging offers insight, convenience and results that you might not achieve on your own.
Why Choose Professional Staging Over DIY Home Staging?
Deciding between professional and DIY home staging is easiest when you understand the purpose and effects of staging. Staging isn’t merely about making your home feel neat and clean. It facilitates the emotional connection buyers crave when shopping for homes. It can even increase the perceived value of your home. Professional stagers understand these psychological forces and prepare your home accordingly. Here are some additional reasons to consider professional staging over DIY.
1. The Stakes Are High
The difference in returns between staged and unstaged homes is significant. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Profile of Home Staging, 83% of buyers’ agents said home staging makes it easier for a buyer to visualize a space as a future home. When a buyer forges this connection with a property, it becomes more memorable. Staging makes the buyer’s process easier, which in turn makes it easier to sell your home.
Staging doesn’t just benefit the buyer, however. The National Association of Realtors also found that 22% of agents reported a 1-5% increase in the dollar value buyers offered when purchasing a staged home. 17% of agents said buyers offered a 6-10% increased dollar value when purchasing a staged home.
Proper staging can increase your home’s purchasing price and help it sell quickly. Using a professional home stager gives you the best chance of achieving these goals — which may even recoup or exceed the cost of staging.
2. Professional Staging Is Convenient
Selling your home and moving is already a significant undertaking, so why commit to one more thing? Professional staging allows you to delegate a task to the pros and keep the focus on your next step.
Whether you have some suitable furniture for staging or need different pieces to achieve the right look, staging companies can accommodate. Many companies work with furniture dealers to rent staging items. This means you can fill in your furniture gaps as needed and even move some of your current furniture to a new home while your old home is on the market.
When the furniture arrives, professional stagers can arrange and coordinate your rooms. And when your house sells, the staged and rented furniture can be picked up and returned. In all stages of home selling, professional staging enables you to focus on the moving process ahead without worrying about making your home suitable for buyers.
3. Professional Staging Is Affordable
Contrary to what many sellers think, professional staging’s customization options allow you to adjust the service to meet your budget requirements. Professional stagers can work with simple decor items that add decorative touches or larger furniture items depending on your needs.
DIY staging either requires you to use your own furniture or purchase new furniture. Neither of these options is foolproof. Your existing furniture may not fit the style and feel buyers are looking for, making your staging efforts less effective. Purchasing new furniture can also be a gamble. Buying furniture will make your staging more expensive than using rented furniture and also locks you into specific pieces. If those pieces don’t work well in your new home, you may be left with furniture you wish you hadn’t purchased. Using a professional staging service offers the flexibility of renting furniture and decor without locking you into a particular piece.
The National Association of Realtors’ home staging profile reported the median amount spent on home staging was $400. Investing in professional staging can help any dollar amount stretch the furthest and garner the best results.
Benefits of Using a Professional Design Team
One of the benefits of professional home staging is working with an experienced design team. These professionals have been trained to recognize what makes a home desirable and know how to use tasteful interior design to accentuate a home’s unique features. A professional design team makes many useful contributions to your professional home staging experience, including some of the following benefits.
1. Design Teams Take the Pressure Off of You
DIY staging requires your brainpower, your time and your experience. Staging with a professional team eliminates some of these requirements. Design teams can select, find and arrange your furniture with precision and efficiency. They come prepared to apply their interior design knowledge, which means you don’t need to spend time researching best practices or rearranging rooms until they look right.
Your time and well-being are worth preserving. Design teams deliver results and alleviate stress so your home selling process can be as smooth as possible.
2. Design Teams Have Valuable Experience
Having in-depth knowledge about the home-buying process transforms home staging. This is why a design team’s experience is such a valuable asset. There are four key factors that design teams can address in their home staging:
- Trustworthy advice: If you’re not sure what your home needs, a design team can give you suggestions based on their experience. They can use your budget as a framework to put together a staging plan, but they can also cast a vision for all kinds of staging opportunities. Speaking with a designer may help you realize you want to take a different route than you had planned. Working with a professional gives you the freedom to customize your plan according to your desires and their advice.
- Excellent design: Designers understand what it takes to make a space look inviting and appealing. They can recognize areas with clutter that you’ve become immune to or add homey touches to areas of your home that need warmth. They can also arrange furniture to showcase the available space in each room and use decor to lead the buyer’s eye throughout the house. After they’re finished, you may be surprised at how different the space looks. The beauty of working with an interior design team is their ability to put in the hard work of transforming a home on a budget and make it appear seamless.
- Buyer demographic: Depending on your home’s size and location, it will likely appeal to a specific demographic of buyers. Design teams can use their experience to stage a home that appeals to that demographic. Perhaps the demographic is looking for a chic, modern look or a distinguished, traditional home. Designers can choose various fabrics, colors and furniture styles to appeal directly to the buyer’s taste. This targeted approach takes experience, but it helps to attract the right kinds of buyers.
- Multi-function staging: Staging a home for in-person showings is a vital element in the home-selling process. But according to research from the National Association of Realtors about real estate and technology, 44% of buyers start the buying process by browsing properties online. This means buyers may decide which homes they want to tour based on the photos they see online. If you’ve ever tried to capture a room well in a picture, you’ll understand why this can be challenging. Design teams understand what it takes to make staging appealing in-person as well as in photographs.
Effective staging differs from one house to another, which is why a trained eye is helpful in the staging process. Designers can offer the advice and support you need to present the best version of your home.
3. Design Teams Have Connections
Working with a design team means you’ll have access to their industry connections. Experienced staging designers will know which furniture and decor providers to use to achieve the right look within your budget. A designer’s network of trusted connections ensures you’ll get the best deal on your investment, and you’ll avoid working with an untrustworthy company.
Choosing a Professional Home Staging Company
Because of home staging’s impact, it’s important to choose the right staging company for your home. Expertise, furniture offerings and flexibility are all desirable traits for a staging service. Here are some tips for finding a quality professional home stager.
1. Ask for Referrals
Who better to ask for home staging recommendations than those who work with staging companies frequently? Ask your real estate agent to refer you to professional home staging companies he or she trusts the most. Real estate agents watch the home staging process unfold and witness the impact it has on buyers. They also witness firsthand the type of customer service each company provides. Be sure to research the companies they suggest to see which may be a good fit for you.
2. Check the Staging Company’s Portfolio
One way to tell if a staging company could be a good fit is to scroll through photos in their portfolio. Do the arrangements demonstrate an advanced level of interior design skills? Is the furniture and decor featured in the photos something that might work well with your home? Does the quality of the photos communicate knowledge of how to make rooms appear appealing in-person as well as in a photo? If you find yourself saying yes to these questions, consider contacting the staging company.
3. Read the Staging Company’s Testimonials
Customer ratings and testimonies are one of the clearest ways to get a sense of a company’s commitment to their services. Read what customers are saying about a staging company’s work — both on the company website and on online public review boards. Look for professional stagers with customer reviews that describe:
- Quality service
- Efficient and timely service
- Outstanding products
- Knowledgeable staff
- Overall expertise
- Successful home sales
Choosing a company that provides evidence of happy customers increases your chances of working with a professional who cares about people and has ample home staging experience.
4. Find a Staging Company That Matches Your Needs
If you need furniture to professionally stage your entire home, you’ll need a stager who provides comprehensive packages. However, if you’re looking to interchange some of your current furniture with rented furniture and decor, you’ll need a staging company that allows custom packages.
Though staging can decrease the time your home is on the market, no one knows how long it will take to sell a particular home. Some companies may require you to set a fixed amount of months for your rentals and lock you into paying for more than you need. Others will allow you to rent on a month-by-month basis. Find out what lease lengths each staging company offers to determine if they are flexible enough to meet your needs.
5. Prepare the Right Questions
No one wants to commit to a staging service only to be blindsided with issues, policies or fees they weren’t aware of. If you’re researching a company or receiving a quote, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask:
- What’s the furniture shipping policy? Your shipping costs will vary depending on how close you are to the staging company’s warehouse. You may also be required to be home when your furniture is delivered. Check with each staging company and their designers to figure out what their shipping policies and procedures are.
- What’s the furniture removal policy? When you’re finished with the staging furniture, how do you go about returning it? Does the staging company need to schedule a pickup time? Do you have to get the furniture back to the company on your own? Does any of this cost extra? Asking a staging company these questions before you commit will help you be prepared for when your home is sold.
- How far in advance does the company need to be notified for furniture pickup? If a staging company does scheduled pickups, they may have a preferred notice window. Ask each company when they need to be notified for pickup so you can communicate effectively as you walk through the home selling process with a buyer.
- What’s the policy on damaged furniture? Even when you’re careful, accidents happen. If something happens with the staging furniture, what is the staging company’s procedure? If you have small children or pets in the home, this could be an important consideration.
- What’s the policy on potential damage in the home? If anything is damaged in your home during the moving or staging process, what is the staging company’s protocol? You want to keep your home in the best shape possible for buyers, so protecting it throughout the staging process is important.
Thorough research and inquiry will help you stay informed and prepared when working with a professional home stager.
Contact Interior Furniture Resources for Your Home Staging Needs
Since 1966, IFR has been committed to quality, high-level service. Our comprehensive home staging allows you to build your package to fit your needs. With the help of our expert interior designers, rent staging furniture and decor by room or by package. Our consultants are prepared to guide you through the selection process while keeping your budget in mind.
For a reliable home staging provider, contact Interior Furniture Resources today!