I get lots of inquiries about staging a vacant house. I’ve had these inquiries from Realtors, builders/developers, flippers and home owners. I often give a ballpark estimate over the phone and in some cases the estimate is more than what they thought it would be. I would like to break down the process for you in time segments so that you will better understand WHY the quote is what it is.
Step 1: The call, the viewing and the estimate.
I will travel to meet you at your vacant property anywhere in the St. John’s and metro area and have a quick look, take a few pictures and maybe some measurements. This does take time though, on average 2 hrs, including travel time. When I get back to my office I will put the estimate, including different options, in writing. This takes some mathematical calculating on my part and can easily take another hour. I will email the official quote within 24 hrs in most cases. There is no charge to you for all this. You can walk away from the proposal with no obligation. However, you can see that the time involved for me is at least 3 hours.
Step 2: The design plan, shopping & sourcing.
If you decide to proceed there is a signed contract and a deposit required to confirm your staging. After that step, I will come up with a design plan, including furniture layout, type and amount of furniture, color pallette, accessories needed and so much more. Keeping that design in mind I will shop for suitable furniture from my supplier. This will take 3-5 hrs in most cases. I will also spend at least 2 hours shopping through my own inventory of all the things that make a house a home such as bedding, rugs, art/mirrors, lamps, benches, accessories, etc. And quite often, because every house is different, I will have to shop for something new for that house such as a particular accessories or piece of art, etc. A minimum for that is 2 hours.
Step 3: Wrap and ready.
This involves getting all the different items safely packed and ready for delivery and can be quite time consuming. A minimum of 2 hours but often up to 4 hours is required for this step.
Step 4: Delivery to the house.
All the large pieces of furniture from my supplier will be moved professionally into the house and placed where I instruct them to put each piece. This usually takes about 1.5-2 hours. Then the delivery of my own inventory can take me a couple of trips and can take another 3.5-5 hours. So you can see there is quite a bit of time put into the preparation for the staging before the hands-on stuff even begins. In fact it will take 17-23 hours to get this far in the staging.
Step 5: The set-up or staging.
This involves setting up all the furniture and accessories and art, etc. There will be thousands of dollars worth of furniture. Also there is usually thousands of dollars of other inventory including bedding, window coverings, rugs, art, mirrors, accessories, trees/plants, etc. This can take anywhere from 6 hours to 12 hours, depending on the size of the house. The house will look like a model home when finished.
Step 6: De-staging and delivery back to source.
After the contract ends, all the furniture is taken back to my supplier and all my own inventory is taken back to my warehouse. This takes 4 hours minimum.
As you can see, staging a vacant house is quite time-consuming! Taking the conservative figures as explained here, 27 hours is the minimum time needed to stage an average house, but often runs up to 39 hours or more.