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Home Staging Expert Debra Gould Explains the
Process of Home Staging and What It Costs

Sell High. Sell Fast. Sell Smart.

"Debra Gould's Home Staging skills transformed every room in my house into a showroom using only existing furniture and accessories. Suddenly there was space and flow that didn't exist before. We got an offer within the first 10 days."

P. Eng, Aurora

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How do I decide which Home Stager to hire?

You should do a telephone interview with any Home Stager before deciding to hire them. Make sure you feel comfortable with the person before inviting them to your home for a Home Staging Consultation.

What you should be listening for during the interview:

  • Do I feel comfortable speaking with this person?
  • Does this person seem to understand my needs?
  • Does the Home Stager sound confident and interested in my project
  • Does the Home Stager come well-recommended or does their staging portfolio suggest that they knows what to do?
  • Is the stager clear when explaining how he/she works and the fees?
  • Is the Home Stager available when I need them?
Staging Diva Debra Gould on TV

The Staging Diva® Debra Gould during a Home Staging Consultation as seen on a TV News Magazine Show (Feb. 2004).

What should I expect to pay for a Home Staging Consultation?

Avoid any temptation to base your choice on pricing alone. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

A cheaper Home Stager may cost you more in the long run because they don't work as quickly or because their recommendations are not as good.

A real professional will charge you for the initial consultation. Be suspicious of anyone willing to come to your home and give you a "free estimate". Home Stagers should be charging for their time and their expertise; if they aren't you should question the quality of the information you receive.

Ask about the Staging Diva® Graduate Home Stager's rates and payment policies when booking the appointment.

Should I really be spending money on a house I'm trying to sell?

While you may be annoyed at the prospect of spending money to fix up a house you are selling, the other way to consider this is:

Can you afford NOT to invest in selling quickly and for top dollar?

Even in the most expensive home staging scenario, where your house is completely empty and you need to repaint and furnish it with rental furniture, your cost will be considerably less than your first price reduction if the house doesn't sell when you need it to.

Before
Dark and disorganized bedroom
After
A calm and open master suite
bedroom before staging bedroom after staging

After having the room repainted and lighting replaced, Home Staging expert Debra Gould used rental furniture and other props to completely change the mood of this master bedroom.

This house sat on the market through Spring and Summer 2005 without selling (despite the fact that it was located in a very hot market where homes usually sell in days). It was taken off the market and completely staged by Debra and sold in October.

The owner could have saved herself all the stress and cost of having her money tied up for 8 months if she had invested in Home Staging in the first place.

Imagine the potential financial return of decorating your home so that multiple buyers get into a bidding war over it!

While there are no guarantees, staged homes do sell more quickly and for higher prices.

If you don't believe this, spend a weekend going to open houses. Notice how drawn you are to the homes that show beautifully and how uninterested you are in the ones that don't.

What happens when a Staging Diva comes to my house for a Home Staging Consultation?

Staging Diva® Graduate Home Stagers are objective about your rooms— evaluating with the eye of a highly critical buyer and finding solutions with the eye of an experienced home stager!

If the Home Stager has taken the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, she or he will begin with a general walk through your home to get an overview of the style of your house and the contents.

Staging Diva Graduate Home Stagers will be paying close attention to the flow between rooms, how many rooms you have and what the likely target market is for your home.

She or he will also evaluate whether the current use of each room is optimal when decorating to sell.

After
An elegant living room
After
A luxurious showing ready master bedroom
Staging Diva creates an elegant living room Staging Diva turns this master bedroom into a real show stopper

The homeowner hired home staging expert Debra Gould for a home staging consultation. Instead of a two hour consultation, the meeting turned into a 5 hour working session during which furniture, art and accessories were rearranged and moved between rooms. "Most homes are like jigsaw puzzles," says Debra, "our challenge as home stagers is to figure out the best way to edit and rearrange all the pieces!"

The contents were beautiful but their placement was awkward in many rooms which closed in the space and made it difficult to appreciate the home's best features.

By mid afternoon the 6,000 sq. ft. house was showing ready as seen above! An investment of about $1200 on a $1.2 million home which saved the homeowner weeks of struggle. Besides, she didn't have the eye to arrange it just this way. Read more about why home staging works.

After the initial walk-through, you can expect the stager to go back to each room and then give you a detialed vision and plan for what needs to be done to turn your house into a show home. Remember that none of this advice is personal. The time has come to turn your home into a product that the maximum number of potential buyers will fall in love with.

Staging Diva Graduate Home Stagers look in closets and built-in cabinets (because home buyers do this too) and give you strategies to cope with the clutter of daily life.

The stager may recommend items to be removed, suggest new furniture placement or paint colors, rearrange art and accessories, or take measurements for rental items.

Depending on the stager's experience, the size of your home and it's current state, this process will take from two to five hours.

At the end of the home staging consultation, some of your rooms may be already transformed, others may have a 'to do' list. It is completely up to you how many of the items in the plan you want the Staging Diva Graduate Home Stager to handle for you or how much you would like to do yourself.

The bottom line is that with an investment of only a few hours and under a thousand dollars, you'll have a complete plan of what needs to be done and much of it may already be done for you.

If your home needs rental furniture art and accessories, your investment may run into the $3,000 to $8,000 range, but the Home Stager will be able to assess this in your initial phone conversation or during the Home Staging Consultation. Again, your home staging investment will be less than your first price reduction if your house doesn't sell. And, you'll be setting the stage for potentially selling within days at above asking price.

Home Staging is not a cost but an investment

The bottom line is that with an investment of only a few hours and under a thousand dollars for a Home Staging Consultation, you'll have a complete plan of what needs to be done and much of it may already be done for you.

If your home needs rental furniture art and accessories, your investment may run into the $3,000 to $8,000 range— but the Home Stager will be able to assess this in your initial phone conversation or during the Home Staging Consultation.

Again, your home staging investment will be less than your first price reduction if your house doesn't sell.

And, you'll be setting the stage for potentially selling within days at above asking price.

Before
Chaos rules this dining area
After
A few rental pieces replace what was there
family room before staging family room after staging

The agent was going to list this home for $759,900. After it was staged by Debra Gould, the agent decided to raise the asking price to $799,900. The home sold in days with multiple offers for $820,000.

Cost $5,300 for a $60,100 boost in value; return on investment 1034% in under a week!

This is only one of many home staging success stories!

Locate a Staging Diva Graduate Home Stager

Get answers to common questions homeowners have when considering home staging to boost the value of their home.


Looking for a home stager in your neighborhood?

Our Directory features a number of Staging Diva Graduates.

And, our network of over 1400 Home Stagers extends throughout most of the US and Canada and internationally.

If you don't find someone in your area in the Directory, contact us and we'll find a home stager for you at no charge!

Go to Directory of Home Stagers

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Visit sixelements.com for additional information on Home Staging, Real Estate Enhancement also known as House Fluffing.

"Wow, after 6 weeks on the market and no offers we sold the week after Debra Gould spent the day rearranging our house. We had 3 offers and sold at 98% of our $949,900 asking price. I'm glad we didn't take our agent's advice and drop our asking price $50,000!"

John W., The Kingsway

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