Home Staging Advice: Convincing Clients to Trust Your Expertise
As far as careers go, being a Certified UltimateStager™ is about as exciting as it can get. A professional home stager’s role is to present a home in its best possible light in order to sell it quickly and for the highest possible amount.
Staging works by bringing out the best in any home. By emphasizing the unique features present within every space, stagers increase the likelihood that prospective buyers will be able to envision themselves living there.
Accentuating the positives, minimizing the negatives, and presenting a space that will appeal to the greatest amount of buyers is all in a day’s work. As a professional home stager, you wear many hats. You meet with agents and homeowners, conduct home consultations, carry out estimations, rent furniture, pore over design magazines, visit home furnishing stores, and ultimately, you stage homes.
You have many hours of training, experience, and successful stagings under your belt; you are very good at what you do. So why are there those few clients that hesitate to follow your home staging advice? How can you encourage every homeowner to follow your recommendations?
Understanding the Intricacies of the Home Stager Role
Why do real estate agents call in a Home Stager? There’s the evident reason: home staging works to sell a home quicker and for more money. But there’s another less evident reason: as a stager, you are trained to be considerate to anyone living within a home.
Oftentimes the sole reason why an agent calls in a Stager is so that he/she will address any sensitive issues with the homeowner. After all, the home needs to be sold regardless of whether there are problems such as dated décor, clutter, dirt, disrepair, or an off-putting odor.
It is important to be mindful of the fact that this is someone’s home, and it has been decorated and lived in to suit their own liking. Owners are usually emotionally attached to their homes, which can make it difficult to see its negative features. Hesitation may be born from an emotional tie. The Stager’s role then shifts to education. You need to demonstrate to the homeowners that there is a better, more impactful way of preparing their home for sale.
You must show sensitivity when making any recommendations, especially if it involves drastic change. Simply stating to a homeowner that the way we live in a home differs from how we sell it might not be compelling enough. Provide an action plan and a realistic guideline of your recommendations while maintaining sensitivity to the homeowner.
Understanding the Obvious Reasons Why Homeowners Hesitate
There are a few obvious reasons why homeowners may hesitate to comply with your recommendations: restrictions due to budget constraints, time, or perhaps even apathy. Ask questions and encourage conversations with the homeowners. If their reasons are due to time or apathy, share your passion for home staging; your dedication and energy will be contagious!
It is also imperative that all parties be on board. Ensure that all decision-makers are present when you make your recommendations. Having all interested parties in attendance ensures that everyone has an opportunity to be presented directly, and that they can engage with you in regards to the various options available. After all, having something explained in person is much more compelling than receiving the information second hand.
If budget constraints are the issue, present the view of home staging as an investment. After all, the facts are on your side! Explain to the homeowner that investing in time, money, and effort in preparing a home for sale will result in a speedy and profitable sale. In fact, presenting statistics might be compelling: in 2018, 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than unstaged homes.
Understanding the Less Obvious Reasons Why Homeowners Hesitate
Like other professions, home staging requires you to present recommendations. Sometimes homeowners will not comply with them for reasons that are less obvious. In fact, the reasons may have nothing to do with you or your presentation.
Behavioral scientists have determined that in order for clients to follow your home staging advice, they need to believe what you are saying, make a decision about that information, and then actually follow through with it. Each of these steps presents its own challenges.
In order for the homeowner to believe you, they require compelling reasons. Even though your home staging advice might be exactly what the home requires, to be ready to even hear your recommendations, homeowners need a compelling reason why they should listen. So explain yourself; explain the rationale and importance behind each recommendation. This will increase the acceptance and likelihood of the homeowner acting on your home staging advice. Additionally, showcase your portfolio and share your success stories.
Sometimes, a decision is difficult to make due to an overload of information. If a homeowner feels overwhelmed, they may hesitate to comply with your recommendations. It’s often best to present your advice in stages. Give an overview of what you recommend, and then offer the rest on a room-by-room basis.
Following through with your home staging advice can be encouraged by sending friendly reminders. Even when a homeowner has agreed to your recommendations, an email or text to prompt them may be all that is required. Committing to a specific date can also ensure that a homeowner will follow through with your advice. Simply scheduling a task can increase its likelihood of completion.
As Certified UltimateStagers™, you might encounter clients that hesitate to follow through with your home staging advice. Understanding the reasons why can help you meet the challenges head on. After all, knowledge is power; both for you and the homeowner.
The result will be beautifully staged homes and more success stories for your portfolio.