Selling your home is a complicated business. It isn’t as simple as finding somebody to buy your house. There are lots of little steps involved in staging your home to sell. Finding another home, preparing to move, repairing and upgrading the home you’re leaving, and calling in the home stagers to help you are all tasks within the larger project.

The wise seller’s first step is to create a list of things to do and a budget for the move. Each of these steps is critical to making the entire shift from home A to home B. (If you’re very lucky, your new home will be “move in ready” and you won’t have to repeat these steps on the other end of the move.)

Most of us know some of the costs involved in simply moving – such as the price for the movers including insurance. If you’re moving yourself, there’s the cost of the truck, insurance, fuel, and moving equipment rental. The list goes on.

If all of that were not enough, there are the sundry things that must be accomplished after your old house is empty. It is here where the services of a home staging company can be priceless. At this stage of the home selling/moving game there are costs involved in the cleaning, painting, appliance upgrades perhaps, and repairs to plumbing, electrical, or roofing systems. It’s difficult to anticipate or prepare for these unless you’re an old hand at moving. Now is the time to consult with a home stager.

We suggest that you handle many of the tasks only you can do prior to calling your stager. Getting rid of clutter is the first item on your list. That means ruthlessly going through every room and every drawer to locate things you can give away, throw away, recycle or donate and doing just that.

You’ll want to pack up the family photos and other very personal things. These are bound to be making the trip with you and, for now, they are simply taking up space. (Space hogging is totally verboten as you prepare for sale. Remember always that making your house look larger is always an important consideration.) When your house is successfully decluttered and depersonalised it’s time to call in the stagers.

When your stager arrives there will be measuring, note taking, and the creation of a very detailed list of things yet to do. Your staging company will take all those notes and measurements back to the office and create a plan and a budget.

Home staging costs all depend on how much work the stagers will be doing. Will there be furniture hire involved? Must the stager supervise any work such as painting and/or floor finishing? Each item on the list will most likely have a cost associated with it, so you will be able to make some adjustments to the final cost.

With this list in hand, you can reconcile your moving budget with your finances. If yours will be a long-distance move, or a move precipitated by a job change, you might not have the luxury(?) of taking on some of the tasks by yourself. Homeowners often know that they could do the interior painting, but whether or not they will have the time to do so can be at the mercy of the reasons for the move.

The good news is, staging your home to sell is relatively inexpensive and almost always pays for itself at the end of the day. Potential buyers are very sure of what they want and, because stagers study the habits and desires of buyers, a stager can ‘sweeten the pot’ with the design choices they make.

Knowing what you can and cannot spend on staging your home to sell is a critical part of budgeting for your move. The other thing that is extremely important is communicating with your stager. These professionals know a thousand ways to trim the costs and still get great results. Having a really good stager on your team makes the work and inconvenience around moving much more tolerable.

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