Staging Should be the Final Touch

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Many of the homes we stage have been renovated or at least had some minor updates or repairs done prior to sale. When paying for the rental of furniture, it is in the clients’ best interest to ensure that staging is the final touch prior to photographing and listing a property.

We have been in some situations where work is still on-going and we are requested to stage a property. This raises a number of issues. Once furniture is set up, there is that much more to clean once thee “dust settles”. We always wipe down all furniture and polish mirrors etc. once they are set up. However, if there is drywall patching going on in another part of the home the dust travels and then you end up having to hire a cleaner to clean the house and all the furniture! Takes longer and costs the client more. 

There is also the risk of damage as workers are moving materials in and out of the home. If something is broken or damaged, the client then becomes responsible for replacement cost.  

Moving in and setting up when there are workers all over the place and materials and tools lying around is quite a hazard. We’ve often had to go through and move building materials and tools so we could move in our supplies and place our furniture. We arrive first and ensure the areas we are staging are clear and clean! On a few occasions I’ve had to ban workers from the area until the move in was complete for the safety of all concerned. When you are carrying large furniture and concentrating on marking walls and doorframes, the last thing you need to worry about is a ladder of tool bag someone left in the middle of the hall!

There is also the concern about potential damage. I’m always amazed at how many contractors and workmen will work with no drop sheet. They wear heavy boots and there is construction debris on the floor and they drop paint splatters on the floor and scratch the floor by walking on the debris. It’s unbelievable! The boys at KAT Reno would never do this – if they were ever caught by my husband or myself they would be on their hands and knees cleaning their mess and apologizing to the customer. Our guys know better and show respect to other people’s homes!

There have been numerous occasions when we arrive and I have to sweep and mop the floors of construction debris before we can bring in furniture. The last thing I want is to have our guys walk over something on the floor and cause damage because someone else left a mess. 

One word of caution to my Realtors who pay for staging. Wait until the client is ready to list.  If they still have a “few things to do” that can drag on for a week or more and the whole time you cannot show the home and are paying for staging for nothing. When the client pays, they are insistent that showings start as soon after staging as possible! Same day or following day at the latest. When the Realtor pays, there is always the odd client that will drag their butts getting the home ready. They’re not paying for it so they don’t have the same urgency to complete the “to do” list! Make them wait for staging until they are done. Then everyone is happy!

The fastest and easiest for all involved is to have the work completed and the area cleaned and ready for staging. This allows us to come in quickly and complete the job, wipe everything down and you are instantly ready for pictures and showings can start in hours! It’s very common for us to stage a house in the morning. Have pictures taken mid-afternoon and showings start that evening.  It’s beautiful when it moves along like a well-planned process!  We’ve even had a number of homes obtain offers that same day showings started! Pretty cool!