Staging Diva and home staging expert Debra Gould, explains why stagers shouldn’t waive their consultation fee even when the property in question is vacant.
Home staging consultation fee shouldn’t be waived for vacant homes
There are many home stagers who heed the advice of The Staging Diva and refuse to waive their consultation fee under any circumstances. Leah Fritz of Perfect Place Home Staging says, “If my mouth is moving, I’m getting paid!” Staging Diva Graduate Gary Baugher of An Eye 4 Change was quoted saying, “Why waste your time giving free advice when you could be somewhere else making money?”
On the flip side, however, is a shockingly high number of stagers who consistently waive their consultation fee when it’s a vacant home they’re dealing with.
Debra Gould does not agree with this practice. She says, “As a professional home stager, your time, your talent and the accumulation of your experiences are your commodities and you should always be paid for them.” Gould adds, “How much time do you have to take out of your day to book the appointment, travel to that vacant house, go through all of the rooms and come up with a plan as to how to tackle it? Why shouldn’t you be paid for that time?”
Gould suggests home stagers determine how much an hour of their time is worth. She says to stagers, “When you get a good handle on that, you’ll see that it makes absolutely no sense to give that time away because the home is vacant and not occupied. After all, it takes a lot of expertise to walk into an empty house, take all your measurements, imagine how the rooms can best be furnished, determine the style and type of furniture, calculate that you need two couches, eight tables, ten lamps, fifteen pieces of art.”
The Staging Diva reminds home stagers that their consultation process must be viewed as something different than giving a rough estimate over the phone for home staging services. “Of course you can tell someone the rough costs of furnishing a three bedroom home of a certain number of square feet. But actually planning it out is an entirely different matter that requires you to be at the property using up your creative energy. When you choose to give a free consultation, you’re devaluing your knowledge and your talents, not only for yourself but for all home stagers as a collective industry.”
If you’re unsure or nervous about approaching the issue of charging for your time spent at a home staging consultation, order a copy of the Staging Diva Sales Script. You’ll receive Debra Gould’s word-for-word script used when she’s on the phone with a prospective client.
About the author
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained thousands of home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Gould created the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and real estate agents locate staging services in their area