Stagers??

jane__nyOctober 27, 2008

Contacted a stager to get an idea of what they charge. It was explained that there are two charges. One for a written consultation which makes suggestions, the other is for bringing in furniture, painting and making changes to the house.

Has anyone used a stager and felt it was worth the cost?

Thanks,

Jane

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logic

It depends..what were the costs quoted?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 12:49AM
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jkom51

Yes, we did it for my MIL's house in July 2006 when the market was showing definite signs of slowing, especially for the $1M-priced market (San Francisco Bay Area, a nice but not luxurious neighborhood/house).

We were on tenterhooks because three similar houses went on the market at the same time hers did. None of the others were staged, two of them were priced lower and one higher.

Hers sold before all the others did. I think the staging made a big difference - but we also took the agent's advice on everything. This included contacting a liquidator to sell everything my MIL didn't want to take with her or couldn't give away - a lifetime of tshatshkes!

The house was in great shape fundamentally. We had the interior painted, the W2W carpet pulled up, the wood flooring refinished, the basement sheet vinyl flooring replaced by a Berber-look W2W, the kitchen cabs painted a glossy white instead of the dreary battleship gray she had lived with.

I would have changed a couple of minor details - the stagers brought everything, from plants to furniture - but the feedback was excellent and she sold, despite the slowing market, within 5 weeks at close to asking.

The RE agent shared the staging cost with us 50-50%, so my MIL's cost was $1250.

This was, BTW, an instance where using a full service agent was worth every penny. We don't live in the same town as my MIL, and the agent hand-held her all the way through the stressful process of leaving her 40-yr home. He changed out light fixtures for more suitable ones, even watered the grass in the backyard so it would show a green lawn for the open house. He went over and above what we expected, and deserved every penny of the commission.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 12:18PM
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jane__ny

Wow, jkom sounds like a lot of work for little cost. I have a feeling this company will charge much more. They want $450.00 for a consult. They come and make suggestions and give you written recommendations. They then offer something similar which includes furnishings. I didn't ask how that works or costs. I'm still debating about paying 450.00 for the consult. I'd like to see some houses they've done.

Jane

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:18PM
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dilly_dally

Jane_NY. I think you could get just as good advice from the Decorating Forum for what you need to make the place appeal to buyers.

The one thing stagers do is to rent you furnishings to make the place look updated and trendy.

You can go to a furniture rental store on your own and get matching current looking furniture with the help of their design consultants. Places like Cort Furniture Rental have design consultants to work with you FOR FREE and even a Home Stageing department with furnishing just for staging. (I have had good experience dealing with them BTW.) Brook Furniture rental has been around for a long time and has a good reputation. Some places like Instant Furniture are only located in certain states. Find places near you or use one of the national furniture rental stores. Make sure you tell them you want furniture for staging. The price is cheaper since the furniture is not being used on a daily basis for family living and you do not have to sign a long lease either like for corporate rentals.

Save your moola and go with free staging consulting with a furniture rental place directly rather than going through a middleman and paying them $450 for advice that may not even work. Rent directly. The furniture is high quality and they have differnt looks to go with different style houses. They even rent out accessories and wall art for that 'finishing touch'. It will all match. It will be effortless to pull off a cohesive look for the entire home.

http://www.cort.com/furniture/home-staging.html

http://www.brookfurniturerental.com/homestaging/home_staging.html

Just a thought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cort

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 1:34AM
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logic

IMO..the only problems with rental furniture is the possibility of bed bugs..

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 6:43PM
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jane__ny

Gee, I just got all excited about dallys advice - then saw logics. Yuck!...
Well I certainly wouldn't rent beds.

Dally, I am so overwhelmed with getting this house ready, I can't imagine where to begin with redecorating. Its so hard to be objective about your own house.

I wish I could move out and show it empty!

Thanks,
Jane

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:54PM
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treasureforu

Hi Jane,
Where in NY do you live? I moved to North Carolina from Rochester NY. I was wondering what part of getting your home ready is overwhelming you? How long have you lived in the house? I have had lots of practice moving in the last few years and it is very overwhelming if you don't break it down into smaller parts. How soon do you have to move?
You can get a lot of help on the forums with staging and you might not need to rent anything. My house isn't filled with pricelss treasures or super trendy and I have sold two homes in the last 3 years. Your home mostly needs to look warm and inviting.
Mindy

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 11:28PM
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jkom51

Just think of staging in terms of taking out ALL personal items - you want neutral art, for example, as well as nixing all collectibles and personal photos. Then remove at least 1/2 the furniture in every room. Buyers need to be able to comfortably walk around the boundaries of the room without maneuvering around furniture to do so.

Simplify window treatments (and wash the windows!). No drapery swags, no vertical blinds. Get everything off the kitchen counters including the microwave. Polish the floors, steam-clean carpeting.

Clean up the garage and the closets - yes, buyers will open closets and oven doors, and nothing should fall out when they do so.

Flowers should be real, not silk. If it's a nuisance, buy nice potted plants, stuff them into handsome containers, and place where appropriate.

You can do this yourself, or ask a decorating-inspired friend for help. Basically, think of what a model home in a developer's tract looks like - neutral, uncluttered, as spacious as possible.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 11:42AM
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treasureforu

Two helpful hints during moving. You can hide anything you want under beds as long as it can't be seen. There isn't much reason for a buyer to look there. Also, you can load hide stuff in your car. Kids toy, laundry, dog beds etc. a quick fix sometimes.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 1:22PM
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disneyrsh

Here's a link to a good article on stagers...

Here is a link that might be useful: Staging your home for sale

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 8:20AM
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jane__ny

Thanks for the advice. Mindy I live in Westchester County, a suburb north of NYC. We've lived here for 35 years and high taxes are driving the decision. The town assessed our house for 1.1 mil, which drove our taxes sky-high. We are appealing, but were told if they lowered the assessment, it wouldn't take affect until June 2010. My husband is semi-retired. The bank assessed the house for $850.00. It is the town assessment which will make it difficult to sell because of taxes over $30,000. Can you imagine paying $30,000 in property/school taxes?

So we need to move and its a bittersweet one. I suppose it is better to move every few years to not get as rooted in one place.

I need to stage the house to present the house as well as possible. With taxes this high, I really need it to look worth the price.

Thanks again,
Jane

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 11:52PM
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jenswrens

Gee, I just got all excited about dallys advice - then saw logics. Yuck!...
Well I certainly wouldn't rent beds.

Just an FYI, bed bugs don't just live in beds... (see link below)

Good luck on your staging and sell, though. I think everyone needs it in this market. I am about to try the same route with staging since my house is now empty.

As for the taxes, yes, I can imagine paying $30,000 in property taxes - in many towns in NJ it is the norm. Do I want to? Of course not! When searching in NJ, the tax amt is always the second thing I look at and use in a listing to rule out a property. Whether or not your taxes will deter a buyer depends on the size & style of your house/land & the desirability of your location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bed bugs

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 9:40AM
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jane__ny

Thanks, jenswrens...that takes care of renting furniture. Actually, I have too much furniture, so I'll just play with what I have and put the rest in storage or sell it. The sun-room I might just get some inexpensive wicker at Pier 1 or somewhere like that... no renting furniture!

Jane

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 11:26PM
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