If you have never worked with a home stager before, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. But whether you are a Realtor or a home seller, the most important questions to ask your stager are about the property itself. You want to be on the same page as your stager because, at the end of the day, you are all marketing the same listing, and you all want to be telling the same story.
1. Who Would Most Likely Live on This Property?
This may seem like a simple question to ask your stager. Obviously, someone demographically similar to the current homeowner would be the most likely to buy the house, right? Actually, home buyers are typically significantly younger than the previous homeowners. During the time the home was occupied, the community around the property may have shifted in ways that would affect who would most likely live in the home as well.
A professional stager evaluates the property and the community around it to assess what kind of person would likely buy the home. This is called demographic and psychographic staging, and it is crucial to effectively marketing your property. The first part of all marketing, especially interior marketing, starts with knowing your audience.
Once your stager has told you the demographic that would most likely be interested in the property, you can target your own messaging to that demographic as well. Whether you are advertising the listing on social media or simply speaking to neighbors, you will know exactly what aspects of the home and the surrounding neighborhood will appeal to certain people.
A great example is a very average-looking, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. You may think that this property is so generic, it wouldn’t make sense to limit your staging and marketing to a specific demographic. But if it is located on a slope next to a busy road, you may not want to market it to families with young children, since that will likely be an immediate red flag. Similarly, if the property is close to a college campus, you know that there are likely investors eager to buy that property and rent it to college students. These are the kinds of considerations a good stager will always take into account.
2. What Are the Best Features of this Property?
A stager knows what features of a property tend to win over buyers, like a grand fireplace or granite countertops. Ask your stager what characteristics of the house stand out to them. These are the features that staging will draw buyers’ eyes towards.
Furniture and art tend to either guide or disrupt the way your eyes move through a room. A good stager understands how certain angles and shapes affect the line of sight through a room and uses them to their advantage. For instance, different living room layouts can dramatically affect the perceived size of the room and can either augment or detract from features like large windows and stone fireplaces.
3. What Are Potential Drawbacks to This Property, and How Can They be Addressed?
Very few houses are perfect! Even a new construction could have potential drawbacks from the land and community around it. It is important to be prepared for a prospective buyer’s objections, but that is not the only reason you should ask this question.
Generally, if there is a drawback that you can fix on the property itself, you should do so before it hits the market. Even if you are willing to take a price reduction for that drawback, you are losing a lot more than just that price reduction. If the drawback is significant enough to turn away potential buyers, you are paying for lost opportunities too.
What Else Should You Ask Your Stager?
If you still aren’t sure what to expect from the staging process, you should feel comfortable asking your stager for their recommendations and next steps. A stager is an incredibly valuable business partner for Realtors and home sellers alike. We want to see you get top dollar on your listing, and we have the tools to help you get there.