Frequently Asked Questions
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."
~ John Maynard Keynes
Q: What Is Home Staging?
A: Home Staging is an effective sales technique that integrates decorating with marketing and creates an experience for home buyers. It’s about more than just furnishing a home - it’s about selling a lifestyle. The elements of home staging will help to neutralize your home by eliminating all potential distractions and drawing the focus to the features of the home instead. Home Staging allows you to market your home to the largest audience possible by maximizing your home’s potential. This can be as simple as reducing clutter and reorganizing the space, or as complex as creating a staging plan and providing the furniture and accessories needed to execute the plan. Each home is unique and will require a different variety of services but all start with an initial consultation, providing a full home evaluation including a written report complete with all recommendations for improvements and updates. We help to clearly define all areas of the home to eliminate those distractions that will keep buyers from seeing and remembering the great features of your house.
Q: What is included in the Home Staging Consultation?
A: With the home staging consultation, you will receive a full home evaluation, including a written report with all recommended updates, repairs, furniture arrangements, paint colours, and decorating suggestions. The consultation generally takes approximately two hours to complete. Our report will help to provide you with a clear action plan for preparing your home for sale. In addition, a BTSH team member will return prior to photographing for Finishing Touches™, to ensure that the photos show off the home at it's best (Finishing Touches service available for Premium or Executive Occupied Home Staging Consultation Packages only - click here for all occupied home staging consultation packages available).
Q: What happens after the consultation?
A: You will receive the full evaluation notes from the consultation immediately following. If you have requested pricing on further staging services or staging rental items, you will receive these within the next day or two unless otherwise advised. You may then decide if you wish to implement the recommendations yourself, or employ BTSH and/or BTSH Preferred Vendors to assist with preparing the house for sale. Once the necessary recommendations have been completed, BTSH may then return with any requested staging rentals and provide final photo preparation.
Q: Do I have to implement all of the recommendations provided?
A: You don’t have to do any of them! However, the more you complete, the better your chances of selling your home, faster and for the most money. We understand that some of the recommendations may not fit your timeframe and/or budget, but suggest that you aim for a minimum of 75% of all suggestions. You or your Real Estate agent have hired us to provide our expert opinion regarding the best way to showcase your home and we are therefore required to provide you with all recommendations for increasing the overall saleability of your home. All recommendations provided are based on buyer expectations, and adjustments that could be made to best appeal to them. How much you choose to do is up to you, however most BTSH clients implement approximately 90% of our recommendations.
Q: What are "Finishing Touches"?
A: “Finishing Touches™” is a no-charge* service offered by BTSH exclusively. With this, BTSH will return immediately prior to listing photographs to assist with final prep to ensure that the photos will show off all of your hard work! This service takes approximately 15-20 minutes and does not include full staging services, however BTSH will make some adjustments to prepare for photos, such as re-folding towels and ensuring that beds are made properly. If further staging services are required, finishing touches™ will be provided at the time of further staging. Please be sure to contact BTSH once photographs are scheduled to arrange for this no-charge service.
*Applies to Premium and Executive Occupied Home Staging Consultation Packages only - click here for all occupied home staging consultation packages available.
Q: Will you return to review the work that we do?
A: We offer a "Pre-Listing Walk-through" for just this reason! With a pre-listing walk-through, we will return prior to the day of photos to review what has been done, what is left to do, and any follow-up questions that you might have. The service is approximately 1 hour and there is a small fee for this visit. We recommend scheduling this visit for approximately 1 week prior to the day of photos to allow yourself the time needed to implement any final recommendations provided during the visit, however the time for this can vary based on your home. Contact your home stager to review what timing works best for you.
Q: Will you bring in all new furniture?
A: We aim to work with what a homeowner already has as much as possible, but also offer top quality home staging rentals, including quality furniture, artwork, linens, and accessories, if these are required to achieve the best results. We understand that you need to live in your home - in our consultation, we will work with your daily routine and provide you with solutions to make the home selling process as painless as possible. That said, we want to ensure that we are appealing to your ideal buyers and demographic, and it may require the addition of some items in order to achieve this result.
Q: Where do you rent your furniture?
A: In order to maintain quality control and maximum flexibility, BTSH never rents from third-party vendors. We offer some of the finest home staging rental items in the region - all furniture, artwork, linens, and accessories rented from BTSH are the property of Beyond The Stage Homes. This allows us flexibility with style, availability, rental period, and pricing. NOTE: Home staging rental items are available to Beyond The Stage Homes clients only, and are not available for rent without a home staging consultation.
Q: How do I know if I should rent?
A: Here are just a few examples of why to rent:
- Have you removed personal photos from your walls? Avoid leaving the walls bare, and with exposed holes (and save yourself the hassle of patching and re-painting these areas). Artwork rental pieces start as low as $15/piece.
- Are you a minimalist? In order to provide a warm, welcoming home, we may wish to add some accessories and soft accent pieces to cozy up the home.
- Do you have old, outdated furniture and/or décor? Give your home an instant update by renting the pieces you need to update the look of your home. Our team will select the items that will best appeal to your ideal buyers and complement your home.
- Do you have vacant rooms or bare spaces in your home? It’s always a good idea to show every room in your home fully furnished and decorated. This not only helps to define the space, but allows potential buyers to visualize the best use of space and the optimal furniture arrangement in each room. You can rent it all from BTSH - furniture, artwork, accessories and more!
Q: If I rent items, what fees and charges can I expect?
A: Each item rented has a monthly rental rate. In addition, your home stager will need to charge for their time to select, pack, prep, and install the rented items in your home. These will appear on your estimate and invoice as "Home Staging Services fee" - the rate for this is billed at $75/hr for the lead home stager, and $35/hr for their assistant (if needed). As well, depending on the items required, and your location relative to Beyond The Stage Homes' service area, you may also see a delivery fee on your bill. All charges will be clearly outlined and explained in an estimate provided to you for approval prior to commencing any work.
Q: If I choose to proceed with home staging services beyond the consultation, what will you need to get started?
A: In order to proceed with home staging services following the consultation, we require the following:
- 50% down-payment
- Signed terms and conditions or contract
- Signed credit card authorization form (we keep a credit card on file in case of late payment/damage to the rental items. We do not process your credit card for the down-payment unless you ask us to, and we do not process it for the payment of the balance unless you haven’t paid by the due date)
NOTE: Staging date and home staging rental items will NOT be held until the above items have been received.
Q: Why does Home Staging work?
A: Did you know that only 10% of people can visualize a space? By neutralizing the space and clearing out the clutter, potential buyers can better visualize themselves in your house. If your home is filled with personal items, clutter, and bold colours, buyers are often distracted and fail to see the potential of the space. Home staging is a marketing tool that simply a tool that helps them to see this by integrating decorating with marketing and create an experience for home buyers. Home staging helps to clearly define each space and sell a lifestyle. The elements of home staging will help to neutralize your home by eliminating all potential distractions and drawing the focus to the features of the home instead. Home Staging allows you to market your home to the largest audience possible by maximizing your home’s potential. This can be as simple as reducing clutter and reorganizing the space, or as complex as creating a staging plan and providing the furniture and accessories needed to execute the plan.
Q: What is Redesign?
A: Redesign uses the same techniques as home staging to help to freshen up your home. Working with what you have, redesign can mean breathing new life into a room, without the expense of a full makeover.
Q: Do you offer any other services?
A: BTSH offers a variety of services from home staging, to colour consultations, to decorating and design. For a full list of services and pricing, please visit the Home Staging or Design Services page.
Q: Why should I paint my home before I list it, if the new homeowner is just likely to change it?
A: This is probably the number one question that we get from our clients. We understand that it might seem like a waste if the new homeowner might just change it, but there are a few reasons why this makes sense to do:
- If the colours you’ve chosen are bold, it will distract potential buyers from being able to see the potential of the rooms
- A fresh, neutral paint means the new homeowner doesn’t have to paint right away, and gives the home that “move-in ready” look. Sure, they might decide to change the colour at some point, but by providing freshly painted walls, your buyers will not feel that they need to tackle this right away.
- It is one of the least expensive updates you can do to your home, with one of the greatest returns on your investment (it's like money in a can)!
Q: Why should I spend money on a house I am selling?
A: Your home is generally your biggest investment. Investing in home staging will help to maximize your return on this investment. A few dollars on home staging will go a long way by ensuring that you sell your home faster, and for more money. All statistics show that the investment in staging your home is always less than your first price reduction. Did you know that only 10% of buyers have the ability to visualize a space? This is just one of the reasons that home staging is so important in today’s real estate market. Buyers are looking for a “move-in ready” home and will pay more to get this. We are selling an experience, not just a home.
Q: Should I stage before listing my home?
A: Definitely. While it may sound cliché, you only get one chance to make a first impression. When your home is listed, you want to be sure that it is ready to show at it’s best, both in pictures and for showings.
Q: Why should I stage a vacant house? Doesn't the house look bigger when the rooms are empty?
A: Staging a vacant home helps to define the space for buyers. Each room has a purpose, and staging helps to clearly identify this to potential buyers. Empty rooms actually tend to look smaller, and can leave buyers questioning whether or not their own furniture will fit in these rooms. By setting up a room properly, not only can they see that the furniture fits but it will give them the ideal placement, as well as inspire them with the decorative touches. Check out this video to see how staging can transform your vacant home to a sold home.
Q: How much does home staging cost?
A: It varies depending on the how much or how little your home requires. A comprehensive consultation starts at $200. For more information on the services available, as well as pricing, see our Home Staging Services page.
Q: What if I don't like the staging items that you bring in?
A: Selection and placement of artwork, furniture, and accessories is at the discretion of BTSH and it may not be to your personal taste. While you may voice concerns with any selected items, BTSH shall have final say on this. You have hired us for our skills and expertise, and we will ensure that the staging items will be chosen and placed to best showcase your home. We all have the same goal in mind – to sell your house!
Q: My real estate agent says they can do the staging, so why should I spend any more money?
A: If your real estate agent is a qualified home stager that includes this service as a part of their fees, there may not be a need to hire an outside stager. However your realtor is busy listing and marketing your home, which is why most agents choose to work with a trained Home Stager, in order to allow each professional to focus on their areas of expertise.
Q: How do I choose a Home Stager?
A: Well, of course the easy answer is if you’re looking at this site, it’s safe to say you already found your Home Staging Professional! But if you’re still not sure, research your local stagers. Check out their portfolio and reviews. If you have hired a realtor, ask if they have a home stager that they prefer to work with. Most stagers offer similar pricing, and you should never base your decision on price. Remember that Home Staging is an investment, and saving a few dollars could mean several thousand on the return of your home. Things to look for from your home staging company:
- Are they fully insured and bonded?
- What training have they received? Do they continue to update their skills to stay current with trends and techniques for marketing your home?
- Are they affiliated with a trade association, such as the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA)?
- How long have they been in business?
- What experience do they have in similar homes to yours?
Q: Do you have trades workers/suppliers that you can suggest?
A: BTSH has found top professionals in your area to assist you with your needs in getting your property “sell-ready”. BTSH is happy to provide you with the contact information for any of these Preferred Vendors at no charge. BTSH will contact, schedule, and manage these on your behalf for an additional fee. You'll find many of these listed on our Preferred Vendors page.
Q: When/How do you get paid?
A: BTSH offers NET 15 terms for all services (excluding subcontractor or shopping services), however a down-payment may be required prior to the start of work for some projects. Our first priority is to get your house listing ready for buyers, and we understand the time and effort that may be involved with this. Offering these terms helps you to concentrate on the needs of your house first. Acceptable payment methods include cheque, money order, email money transfer, or credit card.
Q: Will BTSH be available when I need them to be?
A: BTSH strives to avoid over-booking in order to accommodate all of our clients needs. This is a full-time/full-service company with three qualified Home Stagers on staff, and we will do our best to meet your time-frame, budget, and needs, but thinking of home staging FIRST allows us the time necessary to address all of your home’s needs.
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