I actually stage my own listings as a "value added" service. However, I give my sellers LOTS of homework (such as packing things away and cleaning). I also pass along my various contractors contact information to handle things such as wall paper removal, replacing faucets, etc ("make ready" tasks, so the house can then be staged). I try to check on the progress often along the way and in the end do the staging using as much of their items as I can. I keep a storage full of items (with my name hidden on the bottom of each piece) which I can lend out if needed. If you work WITH your homeowner to stage their home - they will typically feel "invested" enough to keep it that way. I do charge a $500 fee if my seller cancels the contract prior to the listing expiration. I learned this the hard way when 2 different clients love the "new look" so much that they decided to cancel their listing and stay in the house! Regardless either stage yourself or get the house professionally staged prior to listing. I think it's worth it because my staged listings sell SO much faster and for higher prices!
RE/MAX Town & Country
After being in so many homes, you develop a sense of what works and what doesn't.
I have personally invested prior to painting and re-decorating and it was so worth the investment!
Read the blog attached to help you understand more.
The idea is to find a stager who does a 'way better job than you can. As an Accredited Staging Professional, I defer to real experts, rather than do the job myself. It comes down to this - I'm a real estate broker who works 2000 hours a year at real estate brokerage, which is why my clients hire me. How the hail am I going to be as good a stager as a professional who works 2000 hours a year as a stager AND has furniture and movers and resources that I don't have?
I usually break this down and guide the seller to do what fits best for their particular scenario. If they don't have a lot of time and have the available resources, go with the professional! If you feel that the seller is overly sensitive to that information coming from you, it may actually be in the sellers best interest to receive that from a dedicated professional. If they have more time than money, are open to working through a game plan with me and have some decent basic furniture items to work with I will go through the home with them and tag with yellow post it notes the only items I want to remain in the home and tell them where to place it. Then once they are done removing everything else I will go back and make some tweaks for the camera's eye right before the photography work gets done. I definitely feel this is a value added service that I do well for my sellers. I keep my own stash of basic staging items that I have collected over the years to use in my listings. Even soft staging kitchens and bathrooms for vacant listings and out of town sellers can instantly add appeal and add value for you as a realtor. I do believe that the key is experience, not all realtors will have the talent. I agree with what has been written though that you should write in a reimbursement clause to cover you if the listing does not sell for other reasons, so far though I have not had to use the clause because my staged listings sell!