How To Interview A Stager

How To Interview A Stager

Staging someone’s house is a fairly intimate undertaking, getting it to look good is just the beginning.

As more and more sellers must stay in the house until it closes, Staging it, then keeping it looking that way can represent a real lifestyle change. For that to happen, there needs to be motivation and commitment, and at the root of that is having a good relationship.

Sellers want to know who is going to be touching their stuff, and agents frankly should be sure this person will be a good representative of them and their business, and be a team player.

Staging is not a new trend, but it’s not one everyone is familiar with; many wonder how to even get started. To have  a successful Staging experience, here are some questions I’d suggest agents and sellers use to start the conversation.

1 Tell me, how did you get into doing this? (There are many different hats a Stager wears in the course of a job, this will tell you exactly what’s in their toolbox)

2 Why do you like it? (Getting a home ready for sale, especially one that needs a lot of clearing out can be challenging, you want someone who loves what they do and can always see the light at the end of the tunnel)

3. What were some of your more challenging situations, and how did you handle them? (whether they were challenged by a person or a space, what and how they answer will tell you a lot)

4. How do you handle getting along with so many different personalities? (A variation on the old stand-by, you want to open the door and see if and how they choose to walk through. Again, this shows attitude, character and judgement).

5. How would you handle_____ (Pick your own most outrageous or uncomfortable scenario, and put it in the form of a general question. A house that smells bad? Spouses in an ugly divorce? Art in questionable taste? Bugs? Meddling relatives? Just like Miss America, their poise as well as their actual answer both count.)

Notice “the M word”has not been mentioned. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT make money part of the initial conversation. Getting to know the person/situation is not a sales ploy; here is why you’ll get the most accurate info, so you can make your best decision.

First:  Because more needs to be known about what needs to be done, and who is going to do it. If there is no discussion/agreement on that first, all you’ve got is a number:  unhelpful at best, wrong at worst.

Second: If you and your client have an unpleasant experience, you will never, ever, ever remembered what you paid-or thought you saved.

Lastly: If you don’t like/trust/respect the person, why would you ever want to find out how much it would be to hire them??

NEXT: What to expect when a Stager interviews YOU