During your home staging consultation, you come up with a price to stage a million dollar home, which is sitting vacant.
There is a lot to do. You need to have the entire place painted and furnished and there are several repairs to be made.
When your clients hear your plans, their jaws drop at the estimated cost. The wife looks at you and says, “We’ve watched those staging shows and we know it shouldn’t cost more than $2000 to completely redecorate this place!”
Next week I’ll share my response, but first I’d like to hear what you would do in this situation. If one of your clients has watched too much “reality TV” and thinks they know how much it should cost to stage their house, how do you respond? Please leave your answer by commenting below.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.[tags] staging diva, home staging business dilemma, home stagers, home staging consultation, HGTV, staging shows[/tags]
Kathleen Lordbock says
This has come up from time to time but I just explain that “as they well know TV and reality are not the same things!” They do get that!
Kris O'Neill says
My answer would be to the owner something like this: The shows on HGTV show you different ideas for staging any home and give you the “total” cost for items needed to stage the home (ie: $2000) BUT what they don’t tell you is the labor cost. If they added the labor cost along with the material and told this to viewers alot of viewers would hire stagers instead of strong arming us with “Well I saw it on HGTV for such in such amount” What they give you actual budget number for repairs, paint, etc. This is a guideline if YOU are going to do the staging, not hiring a stager. I come across this some much and when I tell them their mouths drop….
jill monczunski says
Oh … that dreaded comment from your client. I’ve gotten it on several occasions. I usually end up addressing the HGTV issue in my initial phone conversation with a client – before I ever walk into their home and quote them a price. When there’s painting, electrical, repairs, furniture leasing, and the whole shebang involved (not to mention tearing out walls or erecting new ones! (which I have never done for a staging) – installation of all new kitchen and bath cabinets! – all new flooring! (are you kidding me???!!!), it’s important to get the client to understand that HGTV offsets the cost the seller pays (after all, they need sellers to get on board so they have a show … right?). So, when Designed To Sell says a total staging costs $2,000 or less, think about the hook-ups they have with their show sponsors! And … wouldn’t it be nice to do an entire home staging in less than 30 minutes!!! As much as the stagers on HGTV’s “The Stagers” annoy me, that show is much more realistic. For me, it’s a pretty realistic representation of how I work with my clients and how I stage a home. I just wish I had a “Dekora Warehouse” in my neighborhood!!!
Staging To Sell
Home Staging For Sellers . Interior reDesign
Serving the State of Michigan USA
Jennifer Heilman says
My husband is a building contractor…our biggest problem with those shows is that they are SO unrealistic. How can you do any of those projects for less than $2,000?? What they always seem to exclude is the cost of labor. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers get paid a minimum of $35.00-$50.00/hour. Even painters make $20-$30/hour. I would explain to my client that they never factor in the cost of labor, which, generally is the biggest expense.
Pamela Moore says
I also point out to my clients that none of those shows include labor in their pricing not to mention the time and expertise it takes to “recover” dining room chairs, painting furniture, etc that the host/hostess does and charges only for the materials. I agree with Jill and find it easier to address this problem up front. Also asking your client if they have had painting or other repairs done lately and reminding them of the cost involved helps them accept the costs.
They also have to be reminded that there is NO charge for labor on the HGTV versions of home staging! If they would like to volunteer to do all of the labor (working non-stop until it’s done), costs can be kept down!
jayne Steuart says
I always love reading Jill’s comments!
You know what they say, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t……..believe what they see on reality TV”! I haven’t come across this from a customer yet. When I do, I will try not to laugh ( :
Debbie Borus says
I’d let them know that those folks on HGTV are not paying a full price, if at all for what they are getting; so much of if comes to them for no cost or barely cost. Also, what about folks who think a 5000 SqFT house can be done in 1 hour…….
Debra Gould says
Totally Debbie, thanks for commenting!
Lucy Arruda says
Debra, this was my exact story last week. They wanted the world , we discussed my fees, and cost of rentals etc, all was ok …so I thought … a few days later clients were dictating how long it should take, did not agree with the hours i was est, or cost of furniture dollars we agreed on before i left ( they expected the whole house to be furnished and ready for the market in about 6-8 hours, ( keep in mind i had already saved them thousands ,as they had a prior stager quote them much higher ). I basicly declined the job right after this as I explained to the cleints my time is very valuable to me, and felt thier expections were unrelistic and that they would have to look for another stager to work with them.
Debra Gould says
Lucy, Thanks for sharing your story. I know other stagers will relate to it.
One of the reasons I’ve structured the payments they way I recommend in Course 3 of the Staging Diva Program is to avoid this type of situation where you think everything is OK and then suddenly it’s not.
Clearly they were making unrealistic demands and you were wise to walk away. Knowing which clients to “fire” is just as important as those you do work with. Excellent that know the value of your time and stick with that! Thanks again for commenting!
Pamela Batey says
Clients have said they could purchase the materials cheaper and I would tell them to go ahead but if they forget a part of it, trim, etc. It’s on them. This will cause time constraints and more fees due to added labor costs. If it doesn’t fit, it’s on them, all guarantees are now on them for product. I also would add that location plays a tremendous part in the cost of materials along with supply and demand for that particular area.
Debra Gould says
Thanks for sharing your experiences Pamela!
If you can sponsor me the $10k to complete this job like they do on those reality shows then when can I start?? I’d also add we will do our best to keep costs at a minimum because we have done this many times before on a budget!!!
Debra Gould says