If you are selling a higher-end home, your real estate agent may recommend that you hire a home staging service to prepare the home for showings and open houses. You're probably vaguely familiar with what home stagers do — they make a home look more presentable and appealing — but what exact services can you expect these professionals to carry out?
If you are dreading having to clean under the fridge or vacuum the carpet in the storage room, have no fear. Home staging services will typically handle the deep cleaning for you. Many will subcontract this work to a cleaning company, but some do the actual cleaning themselves. Give your home a basic once-over before they arrive so that rooms are basically presentable but don't spend a whole weekend cleaning yourself.
There's a common misconception that home stagers remove all of your furniture and decorations and put new ones in place. In reality, they will not remove everything — they'll just remove the more personal items like family portraits and vacation souvenirs. The goal is to make the home look less personal so that potential buyers can picture themselves living in it. They may add some of their own decorations in place of the ones they remove. They will remove these decorations when the home sells; you do not have to buy them.
The staging company is not going to knock down walls or fully renovate your kitchen. (If your real estate agent really thinks this is necessary, they can recommend remodeling companies for that purpose.) However, they might make some minor updates, such as painting a wall that is a really off-putting color or replacing cabinet hardware. They will discuss these changes with you beforehand, explain why they are important, and ultimately offer you veto power in the situation.
Finally, once the home is nicely decorated and furnished, your home staging service will make a few finishing touches to the home to really appeal to the senses of home buyers. They may spray specific air fresheners, place flowers on the table, play specific music, and so forth. Most home stagers have done comprehensive research to determine the best little touches to use in certain markets, so these details really matter.
If you have any more specific questions for the home staging service you are hiring, feel free to ask. Most are happy and willing to walk you through their process and what you can expect. When you're ready to find a home staging company, look online at sites like upscalehomestagingforless.com to find one.