If you are trying to sell your home, you know that staging it and making it look neat and well-designed can help your home sell quickly. But if you're also balking at the thought of spending lots of money to have someone else do the staging, stop resisting that and just pay. The reason is that professional staging companies will often bring in their own stock furniture and decorations to use in place of your own. And that means that if something is damaged during a showing, the damage could be done to the staging company's furniture and not yours.
Accidents and Not-So-Accidents
When you have people moving throughout your house, there's a very good chance someone will bump into something, drop something, or spill something. If you decide to stage the house yourself, using your own furniture, rugs, and decorations, then any damage is done to those items. If you don't discover the damage until later, the chances of getting any reimbursement from the real estate company can be questionable.
Another issue is theft. During staging, you're supposed to lock up valuables. But what if you've used your own decorations in the staging? You risk someone walking off with one of them. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell who is seeing your house to buy it and who is seeing it to ransack it.
Let the interior design company assume the risk. Have them set down their own rugs and move in their own furniture. Move yours to storage, along with most of your other belongings -- keep just enough so that you can live in the home for a bit.
Many times you'll be told to stay away from the house during showings, but don't stay away too long. Inspect after every showing to ensure that you catch damage that might have occurred and to ensure you can attribute it to the correct showing. Take pictures of each room before you leave and compare the pictures to what you find when you get back. If you're concerned about having so many photos, use a smartphone and delete pictures as needed.
Note that other types of damage can occur, too -- Minnesota Public Radio News reports that one unsuspecting homeowner came back to find that someone had turned on a shower and left it on for four days and turning the home into a steambath, for example. Staging can't stop that, so inspecting after each showing is doubly crucial. But even then, if there is any secondary damage, such as moisture damage to furniture, it will happen to the staging company's furniture.
It's tempting to save money by staging the home yourself, using what you already have. But that can open you up to so many problems where you'd have to spend money to repair or replace things that hiring a staging company is a better deal. At the very least, you'll have less stress surrounding the state of your belongings.
If you'd like to learn more about staging a home for sale, contact an interior designer who specializes in home staging. He or she can show you what items they normally use, and they can give you information about how to protect anything of your own that you leave behind.