Ann Waters, ASP • 239.776.0440
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q How long does it take you to stage a home? We are in a hurry.
A For a vacant home staging, we like to have two weeks from the time we are hired, to plan, pack for and set up a home. Often we do it in less time. It depends on how busy we are.
Q What are the biggest turnoffs to buyers?
A Number one and two are unpleasant odors and darkness. Let's start with odors. If you have pets, you may want to have an honest friend (or stager) telll you whether they have left an odor in the home. If a house is vacant, it will often start to get that closed-up smell. And we recommend that you avoid cooking strong-smelling food before showings (sauerkraut comes to mind.)
You will need to deal with any odors before you put your home on the market. We don't recommend using something as obvious as plug-in air fresheners because buyers will see these. But we have had success with putting scented discs in air conditioning vents where they can't be seen. And there is a new product that is designed to be put in the vents. Scented candles that you don't burn (not the jar kind–again too obvious) can help if the problem is not too bad. If you have carpet or rugs, these should be cleaned as well.
Darkness can be tackled several ways. First we check to see whether any lighting available has the highest wattage bulb it is rated for. Then we look to see what is blocking any natural light. It can be bushes that need trimming or even decorative window treatments. We often take these down for this reason. In the past ten years, the trend has been toward very simple window treatments. Often the spec homes we stage have no window treatments at all. The third thing we do is add lamps.
Q What is the least expensive way to update our house before we put it on the market?
A New light fixtures and lamps. These have a huge impact on how buyers see your home, and they can be very inexpensive.
Q Where do you get the furniture for staging and what quality is it? We looked at rental furniture once before and it was poor quality and used.
A We experienced the same thing when we began staging homes. The furniture available for rental in this area was too small for many of the homes we stage and it was stained and scratched! As a result, we started our own furniture rental company in 2006 to provide brand new, top quality furniture that is suitable for the high end homes we stage. We never stage with used furniture, so you don't have to worry about how it will look (or smell) in your home.
Q We have some furniture in our house, but we have moved out and it looks half empty. What could you do in this situation?
A In many cases we can work with what you have and supplement with our pieces to achieve a great look. But keep in mind that if you left old worn-out or dated furniture in the unit, it will not help convince buyers to buy your house. Buyers cannot help but make judgments about your house based on the way they see it furnished. You want them to see it as a house that deserves beautiful furniture, not worn out cast-offs. We are happy to advise you about using furnishings you already own to stage your home.
Q We just bought a condo in Naples and do not have time to furnish it. Do you sell furniture as well as rent it?
A Yes, We sell furniture directly to clients and also can provide shopping service for anything we do not directly sell. We can do anything from redesigning and refreshing your existing furnishings to full turn-key furnishing where we provide everything from furniture to dishes. Our services are flexible to fit your needs.
Q What does it cost to have a home staged?
A That depends on many factors. If the home is already furnished and needs de-cluttering, rearranging, and editing, the cost is based on the hours of labor needed to perform the work. For a furnished home, we start with a consultation, which costs $300-$600 depending on the size of the home. The consultation involves several hours of time evaluating the home and a written report listing all the steps we feel are needed to prepare the home to sell. Included with the report is a written estimate of what it would cost to have us perform the work. Some sellers choose to do their own de-cluttering and pre-packing and to use our services for re-arranging and updating the home. Others hire us to do the entire project. It is entirely up to the seller at that point.
For homes that are unfurnished, the major cost is the rental of furnishings for the important rooms of the home, plus the labor cost for selecting, moving, and setting up the furnishings. Consultations for unfurnished homes are complimentary and take just a short visit to the home. If additional services such as updating fixtures and paint colors are needed, estimates can be provided for these as well.
We always ask clients what their budget for staging is so that we can prioritize tasks and work to help them get the most for their money.
But in answer to your question, we have had furnished home stagings range from just $300 for a consultation to more than $5,000 for substantial updating to the home. Unfurnished home stagings, where we provide furnishings on a rental basis have ranged from as little as $1,500 for a small home to more than $20,000 for a large home.