WHAT IS THE HOME STAGING PROCESS?

By
Home Stager with EXIT STAGE RIGHT

WHAT IS THE HOME STAGING PROCESS?

Vancouver BC home staging a vacant condoHome staging is a bit of a mystery.  Most people are well acquainted with the “before & after” shots on a home stager’s portfolio, but what is a home stager’s process?  Let’s use an empty or vacant property as an example.

We check out the lay of the land…

I visit your home before you place your home on the market, take a walk-through of your home (this takes about 20 minutes), take some photos of each and every room, and chat with you about when you are looking to have your home staged.

We add it all up…

I return to my office and immediately upload the photos I’ve just taken.  I’m a visual person; written notes aren’t that helpful to me.  I study each before photo and start planning out what piece of furniture would look good where.  I consider what type, size, and colour of artwork would compliment the space.  I also estimate how many accessories I’ll need to fill the rooms.  I then add up the cost of the furniture rental for pieces needed, the cost of renting artwork, and a lump sum for the cost of renting accessories.  I determine the cost of moving the furniture, using highly skilled movers, and add in the cost of labour for actually staging the property.  I then shoot a proposal to you within 24 hours (and more often than not within the same day) with the cost for a full service stage, so you know ahead of time exactly what the cost of staging will be.

You are thrilled with our reasonably priced proposal and would like to proceed…

We’re thrilled too!  At this point, we need to protect you, our client, and ourselves.  To do away with any misunderstandings, we then drop off, email or mail you a contract for your perusal and signature.  We also sign this agreement, so we all know what’s involved.  Upon signing the contract, we also require a 50% deposit for staging services, with the balance due the day of the stage. 

The fun part!...

The planning stage is definitely one of my favourite parts of home staging.  I look at the before photos again, and really, really study them.  I make a detailed list of items I plan to use in your home.  I choose a colour scheme that I will carry consistently throughout your home, determine a style, i.e. contemporary, modern, transitional, and double check that I have all this in my inventory.  If I don’t have quite the right item, I write another list, my shopping list, and will drive around the city sourcing this item.  I often sketch out a floor plan and try out various furniture layouts until I arrive upon the layout that best suits the room. 

Time to pack up…

This is the time to pull out all my matching, plastic bins.  Yes, the colour of the handles matches my business colours!  I hand select and carefully wrap each and every accessory that will be placed in your home for sale.  Fresh towels and linens are also packed, as well as greenery.  The bins are loaded into my vehicle to be transported to your home. 

The really fun part…

After all the planning, shopping, booking movers, and packing up, it’s time for the big day – it’s time to stage!  I really love my job, and this is where I get the most excitement.  To take all the mental planning and finally put it into 3D is indescribable.   I almost always work with another fully certified staging professional to assist me.  That way we can get the job done faster and smoother.  Also, it’s pretty lonely staging by yourself!  We supervise where the movers place the furniture.  Once the main pieces are down, we strategically add all the accessories, professionally hang the artwork, and generally add the WOW factor to each room.  We dress the beds, and steam all the linen, so there’s not a crease to be seen.  We stand back and admire our work.  I take “after” photos and have a look at them onsite.  Sometimes the photos reveal small tweaks that need to be done.

The T.V. moment…

You’ve all seen those “reveals” on HGTV.  The home owner comes back to see what you’ve accomplished, and are dumbfounded, in tears, shaking their head in amazement and basically overjoyed.  Well guess what?  That actually happens in real life!  This is the culmination of all our hard work, and on a personal note, it sure pays off.  Helping a client present their home to the best it can possibly look, and helping them move forward in their lives is a wonderful feeling that I wouldn’t trade for anything. 

Although rather long-winded, I hope this clears up the process of home staging, and what’s involved.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Comments (66)

Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Barbara - Thanks so much for your kind words.  Staging definitely helps Realtors® sell the property.  After we do our thing, isn't it wonderful to write "shows well" or "Martha Stewart lives here"!

Jan 13, 2011 04:46 PM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Chris - I'm afraid our response is "it's not staged for you and your personal tastes, but to appeal to the broadest range of buyers possible" - and then we give them a great, big, sincere smile :-)

Jan 13, 2011 04:48 PM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Jason - I'm honoured that you're reading my post!  I was wondering how Twitter worked - I suck at it.  Searched A/R and your post showed up!  A great stager can really help your business - hope you keep searching!

Jan 13, 2011 04:50 PM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Jose - Ha ha!  I can just imagine what those photos would look like on the MLS!!!!  You're funny!  I actually love staging - yes, there's the schlepping, but it's a lot of fun.

Jan 13, 2011 04:52 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

I resemble that remark my dear.................LOL.  Love ya Sally.................and your twin Mr. Ames.

Jan 13, 2011 09:36 PM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Sally -- Very helpful explanation -- I liked 'the T.V. moment' the best. That must be so exciting when the homeowners see the finished product for the first time!  Talk about a feel good moment!

Jan 14, 2011 01:13 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

This explanation is sooo necessary Sally! Thank you for laying it out here so nicely in this well deserved featured blog!

Jan 14, 2011 01:43 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Sally, a well deserved feature post! Great explanation of the staging process. Thanks.

Jan 14, 2011 03:00 AM
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

So glad this was featured - I am going to re-blog it. I include a staging consultation in my listing services, but few Sellers want to spend additional money to stage. I tell them I wouldn't DREAM of selling my personal home without the services of a stager - it's as important as the fresh paint!!

Jan 14, 2011 03:19 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Roger - Too funny - can't believe I spelled fairy wrong! - and congratulations on the "chicken" feature! 

Jan 14, 2011 06:23 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Barbara - It really is an amazing moment.  I always thought they "staged" or faked the home owner's resonse at seeing the end result, but now I know it really is a human reaction to an altered space.  It really is a feel good moment.

Jan 14, 2011 06:25 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Karen - Why thank you so much!  See you soon in Vegas!

Janice - Thank you!  Not everyone really gets what we do, so it was fun to put pen to paper (or key board to screen)...

Lori - That's wonderful that you include a staging consultation - what a great benefit to your clients!  For some clients, it's hard for them to make the initial monetary investment, and yet the benefits in the end are so well worth it.  And thanks for re-blogging!

Jan 14, 2011 06:30 AM
Julea Joseph
Reinventing Space - Chicago, IL
Julea Joseph House Stager - Reinventing Space

Sally, You always replace, never use what the client owns for occupied?

Jan 14, 2011 06:45 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Julea - Good question.  Actually, at the top of this post I explain that I'm using a Vacant as an example in this instance.  For already furnished homes I can often use what they already have, and will sometimes bring a small accessory package to compliment.

Jan 14, 2011 06:52 AM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Sally, this post takes the mystery out of the staging process. Great detail, hope some of the real estate professionals find it useful to explain home staging to their clients. I find that I take tons of pictures when I am doing design work. Maybe because that is done over a much longer time period.

I take pictures on occasion on a staging consult. I am a very visual person, once I see a room it is in my memory and I work from there. I measure for drapery and furniture placement. When I return to stage, the client is always amazed that I didn't take notes or pictures and show up with an entire house of inventory that works perfectly to market their  home. I have only had an assistant go back to get one more piece maybe three times in three years. Don't know why or how I can do this, I just have a detail oriented memory I guess.

Congratulations on the feature. Well deserved!

Jan 15, 2011 09:45 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Michelle - You are a truly gifted home stager.  It also sounds like you have some sort of photographic memory.  Your work is outstanding, and it's wonderful to hear about your successes.  Vaughn, Ontario is lucky to have you!

Jan 15, 2011 02:10 PM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Sally.....I am totally with you on notes vs pictures.  During a consult when I'm NOT taking any notes clients are always asking ...."Are your going to remember all this??".....and I know what they really mean is "at your age how could you possibly hope to remember all this??".  I take pictures just before I'm leaving the consult and those are what I study and serve as my "Before".

You did a fantastic job of describing the process!!!!!

See you in Las Vegas!

Jan 16, 2011 04:45 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kathy - That is so funny!  I can so relate to the "at your age how could you possibly hope to remember all this?!!".  It must feel wonderful when "you show them" with your fabulous end result!  Ha!  chock one up for the Zoomers!  So looking forward to seeing you in Vegas!

Jan 16, 2011 01:20 PM
Anonymous
Whitney

Do you offer a visual to the client of your design before you begin staging?

Jun 19, 2018 02:26 PM
#69
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Whitney-No, we don’t offer a visual. Our furniture and art is coming in and going out too quickly to promise certain pieces. There really has to be faith in us that we know what we’re doing and can produce a beautiful stage.

Jun 19, 2018 03:09 PM