I hear from aspiring home stagers and others new to the business who are afraid that they’ll be held responsible when a home doesn’t sell for a certain price.
While I’m not a lawyer, I can shed some light that should alleviate this fear.
No home stager should say to a client, “if you follow my advice I guarantee you’ll sell for this amount.” You can talk about other successes you’ve had with clients. For example, if I’m talking to a homeowner with a house in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, I’ll tell them the true story of my client who was on the market for 3 months with a best offer of $350,000 for his house. I did a 90 minute staging consultation with him, advising on what to get rid of and what to rearrange. He took my advice and sold the following week for $361,000— an $11,000 increase in his selling price!
Or, if I was talking to someone with a more expensive home, I’d tell him the true story of another client who had a house sit on the market for 4 months. His agent wanted to drop his $949,900 asking price by $50,000, so he called me instead. Investing $1,000 in my advice, he sold the following week for 98% of his original asking price.
In addition to using your “success stories” to illustrate the financial gain other clients have had using your services, you can say “I believe these changes will increase the value of your home by more than what they will cost you.” Notice this is not a guarantee and you’re not saying by how much the value will go up.
A common practice of less scrupulous agents is to “buy a listing” by telling a client they can get them a higher amount for their home.
Some clients are stupid or naive enough to pick an agent based purely on the selling price that agent says they can get, even if it is out of line with what other agents have told them the home is worth.
What happens when the house goes on the market and doesn’t sell at that price? The agent gets the client to keep reducing the price until someone buys. Are real estate agents legally responsible for not getting the initial list price of a home? NO! Why would a home stager be responsible?
By the way, any home is only really worth what someone pays for it. The rest is just conjecture.