So I am currently negotiating with a client to handle his soon to be listed home's staging (and hopefully subsequent decor of his next home!), and while running through my costs, I thought I would also calculate my time to ensure I was providing value to him and not just being greedy. So in case you think HGTV is "reality" television, here is what goes into a job from start to finish, regardless of whether the property is vacant or occupied:
1 hour: Initial consultation. I will visit the property and visit with the seller, take room measurements (especially if it's an awkward space) and "before" photos.
1 - 2 hours: The space planning & rough design, including existing and necessary furniture and accessorioes room by room.
1 - 2 hours: Research furniture rental options for each room, taking into consideration the price point and neighborhood of the property as well as existing furniture. Present full estimate and suggested options to client for final approval.
1 - 2 hours: Coordinate with furniture rental partner for furniture choices and possible substitutions; time includes re-design of initial floor plan by room - as necessary.
5 - 9 hours: Shop existing inventory as well as the purchase of additional art, accessories, bedding, linens, lamps, rugs & small furnishings (Goods) for the property.
3 - 6 hours: Usually the day prior to installation, we will create an inventory list of all Goods for delivery the next day. Of course, these need to be wrapped & packed securely for transport!
4 - 8 hours: This depends on the size of the property and whether it is vacant or occupied but generally can run up to a full day, and this doesn't include the time of my assistant(s)! During installation, I will direct the placement of the rented furnishings, re-arrange existing furniture, unload & unpack all Goods, hang curtains if necessary, steam any wrinkles out of the linens, accessorize each room, hang the art, sweep & mop (if necessary) and then take the exciting "after" photos!
1 - 2 hours: Edit the photos later that night or first thing the next morning and send to seller & Realtor. I should upload to my blog / website at this point, but it sometimes waits until later....
2 - 4 hours: Attend open house to assist listing agent and ensure staging is immaculate.
3 - 4 hours: Schedule furniture pick up and Goods removal after property is sold. Return to staged house, pack and load all Goods and meet furniture company for pick up (could be 2 separate visits). Sweep & mop empty house if necessary.
2 - 3 hours: Unpack all Goods, re-inventory and put away. Look into storage solutions.
Whew! I am tired just thinking about that. It's a 25 - 43 hour process from beginning to end and that is assuming everything goes to plan. I can rest easily that I'm not being greedy! So if you are considering enlisting a home stager and wondering if the price is justified, I hope this will help you understand what we do behind the scenes while transforming your house into a "model home". And remember: no matter what, hiring a professional stager is always less expensive than the cost of the first price reduction!