Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
The real estate market is in the dumps in most places right now. So, why on earth would one want to start a home staging business? Because the timing is perfect!
In a “seller’s market” when selling homes is easy, a home stager might not be necessary for owners to get top dollar. But, in a “buyer’s market” or a stagnant market like we have now, staging can make a huge difference in the sale of a home.
What is home staging?
Home staging is designing your home to present it in the best possible light to potential buyers. It can be as simple as a mini-renovation with perhaps some fresh paint, a thorough cleaning and some fresh flowers, or it can involve spending a bit of money to update a run-down kitchen.
Many times, home staging is more about what is removed than what is added. Taking away clutter is big in home staging! An uncluttered home looks more spacious and is much more inviting to potential buyers.
What exactly do home stagers do?
Some home stagers simply advise sellers on how to make their house look better. They are essentially coaches who prepare a game plan for the homeowner to implement. So, these stagers evaluate a home and write down suggestions on increasing its perceived value to the buyer.
Other home stagers actually do the work. They also prepare a written plan, but will include the costs of their doing the work. Most stagers will have a network of helpers, or subcontractors who will help with moving furniture, painting, de-cluttering, perhaps building or renovation work, and even yard work.
How do I become a home stager?
Like many small business opportunities, you can become a home stage without additional formal education if you chose. There are many schools out there now who will train and “certify” you, but there is no legal requirement or license you need in order to be a home stager.
If you choose to teach yourself, start by reading many books and magazines about selling homes. Also, watch the television shows devoted to staging: Designed to Sell or Sell this House are two of them. Plus, doing some volunteer or freebie home staging is a good way to build a portfolio of before and after pictures to show potential new clients.
You should also make friends with realtors or builders in your area. While you could directly contact home sellers, it is much more efficient to get referrals from realtors or to work directly with builders to stage model homes.
How much can I make?
The income level you can expect is really dependent on you. As with any self-employed professional or small business owner, your income depends on how much and how smart you work. If you simply advise sellers or agents on staging, you will make less than if you actually do the staging yourself.
However, the average hourly rates vary from $25 up to $100 for top home stagers. To get to the “top” of this field, you need to be able to increase the selling price of your client’s homes with your efforts. So, it can really pay to know your stuff.
Click Here to Discover How to Become a Home Stager or Redesigner