Nedra D Hines
The Home Staging Process (Including Craziness!!)
All I can do is smile when a potential client’s response to an upcoming Home Staging project is “Oh, just come in and spruce it up a bit!” I wish sprucing it up a bit was all we had to do. Staging a home for sale is an imperfect ever-evolving project . . . and I’m here for it. This blog gives you insight to what happens behind-the-scenes for Home Staging companies as they prepare for a staging project. The reason this is helpful is because sometimes we get a call from a potential client who wants a home staged in a couple of days and that’s not always possible.
In addition to having other clients whose staging dates we’re working around, there will always be at least 1 hiccup somewhere in the grand scheme of things. Just know that when you choose Effortless Charm Staging, we’re spending at least 20 hours on each listing and utilize $5,000-$10,000 worth of merchandise. The 3 main areas of the entire process are:
1. Pre-Sale: This begins when the first phone call or email is received. We connect with the potential client by phone to get an idea of what their needs are. If they’re price-shopping, we will see if Real Estate photos are available online and provide an estimate. If they decide to hire us, we then visit the property to take measurements of all living areas. From there, we develop a staging plan that includes furniture and décor pieces, schedule a staging date and start shopping for items needed. Note: COVID-19 caused supply chain issues for a lot of vendors, which means purchased items aren’t being received in a timely manner at all. A lot of us are shopping local retail, Facebook marketplace or purchasing from other stagers to get what we need.
2. Stage and List: This is the nuts and bolts of the entire process because in all honesty, the movers are the star of the show in terms of logistics. Movers can also make or break the whole experience of staging a home for sale and are the biggest risk and expense. After the home is staged and photographed, we will share photos on social media without providing the address of the property or the identity of the homeowner. This is for client privacy and safety reasons.
3. Post-Sale: Ahhhhh, the sound of relief! The home has sold and the closing date has been finalized. Upon arriving at the home to de-stage, we inspect the condition of the home and move/transport all furniture and décor pieces back to the warehouse. While packing furniture and décor, we’re also inspecting for any damage done to the items so that we can repair or replace them afterwards. Once the de-stage is completed, I text the Listing Agent to let them know that the home has been de-staged. In the wake of this process, we repair/replace/sell items that were damaged and/or no longer needed for staging.
All of this sounds simple and I promise you, this is the glamorous version of a Home Staging process. Can I add that I didn’t mention: 1) The client calling me 15 times due to paranoia about possible floor damage (that never happened), 2) One of the movers is a new crew member and because he’s not familiar with the staging process, a box of fragile items fell from a cart and I had to stop by a local retail store to replace damaged items, 3) Local retailer delivered new accent chairs and unfortunately one of the legs were damaged and had to be sent back to the store for replacement instead of in the staged home (we made it work!), and 4) Using Goo Gone to remove a mirror sticker left horrible streaks on the mirror, which means we had to go to the store to purchase glass cleaner, which left even more horrible streaks. Btw, this is all happening as the Real Estate Photographer is arriving!!!! I asked him what he thought and he recommended cleaning the mirror with newspaper. Ugh, who the heck has a newspaper on staging day?!?! Lucky us, we were able to use the tissue paper used to wrap accessories in place of newspaper and the result was flawless!!!! Victory at last until 5) client calls 10 more times about turning out the lights, placing the keys in the key box, making sure the water is turned off, random thoughts about someone potentially walking into the upcoming Open House and spilling a glass of red wine on the sofa used to stage the home. Yeah, we deal with all of that!!!!
There are so many things Home Stagers find out during the staging process that we had no clue about. Who knew that eucalyptus bleeds when placed in a warm warehouse?! Yep, we learned that the hard way and we have to implement time buffers to allow for those quirks because they will happen.
Below is an iceberg image of our Home Staging process and just know that all of the craziness happens just below the tip and we still strive to give you a flawless result that will wow potential buyers!