The hidden costs of bargain home staging are in our industry so please use caution before signing a contract. Recently, a client shared a copy of a bid that one of the local high volume staging companies had provided to stage her home. Several things stood out to me, and not in a good way. For starters, the company provided a bid without actually visiting or viewing the home, which means there is no way they could provide a custom design. One of the primary functions of staging is to highlight your home’s features while downplaying any less appealing characteristics. Can you imaging furnishing or decorating a home without seeing it? No idea of the paint colors, flooring, size and shapes of rooms, or finishes? Neither can I. Yet that is what’s being done by many stagers. They just load up a van with random furniture and cram it in your home regardless of what the end result is. Results would be random and haphazard at best. Furniture the wrong scale for your home. Art that clashes with the style of your home.
The Hidden Costs of Bargain Home Staging-Scratch and Dent
Secondly, there were 3 “package options”. For a ridiculously low price, they will bring out their lowest grade furniture, art, and accessories. We’ll call this one the “scratch and dent” package. For a few hundred more, they provide a little higher quality goods. We’ll call this one the “I guuuuess it’s good enough” package. For a few hundred more, they haul out the good stuff. We’ll call this one the “should be the only option” package. I (and the client) were dumbfounded. The whole point of staging is to make the house look the best it possibly can, to put the most money in your pocket as quickly as possible. Saving a few hundred dollars, in the beginning, to lose thousands, in the end, isn’t a great plan for anyone.
Home Staging Hidden Fees
Third, the devil is in the details. This SEVEN PAGE bid and contract had fees hidden EVERYWHERE. $200 delivery fee (Is there another option? I mean really…) $200 staging fee. (That one had my eyes rolling all the way in the back of my head.) $200 vacant fee. (What does that even mean?) Additionally, the contract is only valid for 60 days, at which point MORE fees are assessed to keep the property staged. Once all of the fees and costs were added up, the bid that had $1300 in gigantic print on page one ended up being over $3000. That’s just sneaky and wrong.
Flat Rate Home Staging
When choosing a stager, look for fair and honest FLAT pricing with no monthly charges or recurring fees. If the longer your house stays on the market, the more money the stager charges you, then are you aren’t on the same team at all. Steer clear of anyone providing pricing or a bid without an in-home consultation. During the in-home consultation, the stager should be snaping about a million pictures and measurements to provide a custom design that will complement your home’s architecture and features. Ask questions!! Is the stager experienced with homes in your area or neighborhood? Your price range? How will their design target your demographic? You wouldn’t want your downtown 2 bedroom condo staged with the same style used in a 5 bedroom farmhouse on acreage. Avoid stagers that offer “levels” of decor. Every home should be staged with high-quality furnishings and art. Second best, the outdated, or shabby decor isn’t going to get your home sold. Beware of bargain-basement bids unless you will be happy with bargain-basement staging.
Last and most importantly, there should be a personal connection. You are trusting this person with one of your largest investments. You should feel comfortable that you have the same goal: to get your home sold fast for top dollar! We are on Facebook, please Like Us.
For more information, check out Texas Best Stagers @ homestagingdallastx.com or give us a call at (940)305-9945. Stage Today, Sell Tomorrow with Texas Best!