Why is 1% of the home's list price unrealistic for staging services?

By
Real Estate Agent with Watson Realty Corp

Ok, I just posted another blog about the HGTV show 'The Stagers' and my frustration over some negative comments.  This created a conversation in my family room (as I sit here with my laptop) and gives me pause for the thought on the question.... Why does it seem so unrealistic for us to charge 1% of list price for our staging services?

Agents and their companies associated in the sale of a property receive approximately 5% - 6% (both buyers agents and sellers agents combined).  If we help to contribute to the ultimate end sale why do we not earn 1%?  Why is our time, energy and ultimate tools not as valuable?  We typically actually spend more on each and make significantly less hourly rate.  Is it because we don't wait to 'get paid until the home sells'?  I think it far more likely it is because we don't perceive ourselves as worth the money.

I know in my market we cannot outright charge 1% up front.  We would lose far too many jobs to other staging companies who also charge less.  This leaves us stuck with lower rates.  We have plans that are a bit more creative in the works that allow us to charge what we think we are worth while putting our money where our mouth is. 

If we can show that our work is every bit as valuable, isn't it time we earned what our agent couterparts earn?

Perhaps it is time that we, as PROFESSIONALS, rethink the concept of getting paid what we are worth, not what we THINK the market will bare.  It will bare whatever we show it is worth, not the other way around!

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 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the St Augustine, St Johns, Jacksonville, or Ponte Vedra area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Watson Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).

 

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Comments 45 New Comment

Rainmaker
418,500
Melissa Marro
St Augustine, St Johns, Ponte Vedra
Watson Realty Corp

Rania - Interesting!  I usually advise against the agent paying for the staging as it is the homeowner with the most to gain.  Most of the agents I work with pay for the consultation, but not the actual staging.

August 12, 2008 02:56 PM
Rainer
1,367
Rania Peet
Pure Energy Real Estate

Well yes the homeowner has much to gain, but not so much these days. The market SUCKS as we all know and of course it wont stay that way, but with my experience, most homeowners feel incredibly strapped. They are already dealing with selling a depreciated house on top of 6% of the sale to buyer and seller agents, and dont forget to include the plethora of work they probably have to put into it just in the light fixture/paint/landscaping/carpet/kitchen/bath updating world. So to have to pay even more money for staging, is just a really really hard sale.

In my market, the agents pay for it as part of their investment.

August 12, 2008 03:19 PM
Rainmaker
268,895
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
Short Sale & Staging Specialist

Thanks Melissa - I do think that if the sellers had a set price to pay for staging services ; instead of add in this and add in that to a sum of ? it would be easier to conceptualize.  We  have certainly tossed around the % pricing and will continue to explore it.

August 12, 2008 09:37 PM
Rainer
111,288
Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging

Wow, lots of reading over the last couple of hours! OK, my quotes always land in the 1 to 1.5% of asking even when I've not been told the list price. I'm that good! GUFFAW!

Appologizes, I'm very tired.

I've got a 'stager' who is a member here on AR who is bending over backward to undercut me...on a job I've already staged and the owner told her thanks but no thanks after getting her quote and looking at her portfolio.

And yes, if she reads this comment I will hear about it from my client...through the Realtor who has got it in her head that the property should be staged specifically for a 75 year old with one foot in the grave. Ouch! Go on AllDecor...dare yah! :)

Anywho...apparently someone can stage a huge vacant condo for $3000 dollars...which was about .25% of asking.

I know what we, as stagers, are worth, I also know the cost of quality rental pieces, my time on a project from start to finish etc. And like Michelle's dad, I won't leave the house unless I'm getting paid a fair price to do my job.

So *someone* (see above) who is still trying to get a client who chose not to use them must see this client as one dumbass or a cash cow.

In my market 1% to 1.5% up to 2% on a vacant is absolutely fair...too bad there are 'stagers' here who are so afraid of not being successful they will do just about anything to try to damage their peers and get the jobs for themselves. Don't they realize there is enough work for all professionals...and if they are not getting the jobs...maybe they are not that good.

 

August 12, 2008 09:56 PM
Rainmaker
418,500
Melissa Marro
St Augustine, St Johns, Ponte Vedra
Watson Realty Corp

Rania - the great things is that every market is different.  If it is working in your market, I'm certainly not going to downplay it!

Kathleen - Yes, and when we can do all the work necessary then it is a much more productive end product.  Don't you think?

Dane - Sorry you've been having your own competition issues there.  You already know mine here.  1% - 2% would not fly here, except on the lower end homes and even that would be stretching it.  We are working on bringing up the numbers but 2% is definately out of reach right now..... we are still shooting for the 1.

August 12, 2008 11:32 PM
Rainmaker
418,500

Melissa Marro

St Augustine, St Johns, Ponte Vedra
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Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging