Home Staging Challenges
and Their Solutions
As an UltimateStager™, you have the knowledge and skills required to professionally stage any home. In fact, you know exactly how to present any space in order for it to appeal to a wide array of potential home buyers. With your experience you feel ready to meet any challenge, whether it is a unorganized basement, small rooms, or an unpleasant odour.
But what if your challenge isn’t within the home? What if your challenge is instead, with your client? As a professional home stager, you are required to work with many different people. Some will present you with specific home staging challenges. Knowing how to solve the issues that these particular circumstances present, will help you now and in the future.
Solutions for Personality Challenges
Home stagers are required to work with many homeowners and agents; some individuals present more challenges than others. Although no one person can be generalized into one specific personality trait, there are particular characteristics which can be exhibited, that present specific challenges. By knowing what they may be, you are able to meet any difficulties head on.
A Challenging Client:
Some homeowners are discouraging or pessimistic. These clients may even express doubts in regards to the effectiveness of home staging.
- Listen closely to every client. This allows the homeowner an opportunity to express themselves and sometimes, that is all that is required. By addressing their concerns you can both, determine if the issues are legitimate, and prevent any unhappiness down the road.
- Educate your clients. Provide vital statistics, and when discussing the staging plan let them know what you are doing, and even more importantly, why you are doing it. By exerting your expertise you provide further proof of your knowledge, and this will help to dispel any doubts in regards to the staging.
An Emotional Client:
Clients move for many reasons and while some families may be moving up to something bigger and better, others are simply moving on. It stands to reason then, that some clients have a harder time than others leaving their home. After all, it is a space that they have lived and loved in, perhaps for many years.
- Always have empathy for your clients. Put yourself in their shoes; although it is a job for you, this is a sensitive time for them.
- Once again, listen and acknowledge any issues. This will encourage communication and will increase the client’s appreciation for your professionalism.
- By reacting confidently to any problem and adapting to your clients’ needs, you demonstrate your value as a professional home stager, even beyond the actual staging.
Solutions for Specific Home Staging Challenge
As a professional home stager, you will sometimes be presented with specific home staging challenges. Do not be discouraged: there is an effective solution for each one.
Your client’s furniture is too big for the space:
Once a week, your clients enjoy gathering family around their extra large dining room table for a fun and festive dinner. While this piece of furniture works for them, it is far too big for the space.
- The optimal solution would be to have the homeowner remove the too-large table, and rent the appropriately sized furniture.
- If the clients are unwilling or unable to remove the table, you can instead remove two or more chairs from the space. This will help to improve the room’s proportion, as well as enhance the traffic flow. Additionally, by taking chairs away you may be able to reposition the table to better fit the room.
Your client’s furniture is dated or has an unflattering pattern:
Not every client will have either the budget or the desire to alter their furniture during staging. There will be instances where you need to adapt, and “hide” the dated or unattractive furniture.
- Be creative!
- If renting furniture is not an option, in the living room the next solution may be to purchase slipcovers. SureFit offers furniture coverings in a variety of colours and styles, and can even be found in your local department store. Another method for “hiding” living room furniture, is to use neutral coloured throws and pillows that will compliment the patterns on the couch and chairs.
- In the bedroom, an option may be to use luxurious bedding from your inventory. An injection of attractive comfort will enhance your staging, while underscoring the furniture.
- Placing a warm, neutral coloured rug on the floor will also draw the eye elsewhere, while complimenting the existing décor.
- Use the furniture to create interesting conversation areas by rearranging their placement. Although the furniture might be dated, the styling won’t be.
- Use the furniture to highlight focal points such as a fireplace. This will draw the eye to the desired point, instead of focusing on any unflattering patterns.
These solutions have the ability to neutralize the furniture, while appealing to a wider array of potential buyers.
Your client changes the timeline for the project’s completion:
Sometimes homeowners alter a project’s timeline for completion, either to an earlier date or a later one.
- Be flexible!
- Realize that changes will occur. Homeowners have families, jobs and other commitments that will interfere with your timeline. Always respond in a professional and reasonable manner.
- If this alteration creates a gap in between projects, use the time productively; this is a great opportunity to update your inventory, complete additional smaller projects, and set up meetings with agents and potential clients.
- Speak with confidence: remind the homeowner that staying on schedule benefits them as well. After all, the sooner the home is staged, the sooner the home is sold.
Professionally staging a home requires skills and knowledge. There will be circumstances in which clients present you with home staging challenges. By adapting to each situation and creating effective solutions, you can turn every challenge into an opportunity to flex your professional muscles.