Home Staging Part 2 - How to Choose the Right Stager

So you've decided to stage your home for the selling process. What's the next step? You'll need to pick the right stager for you and your needs. Here are some tips for choosing the right one.

1. Ask questions. Know what you're looking for in a stager and talk with any prospects to make sure they meet your criteria. Some questions you can ask:
•What training have you received?
There may not be formal training for having a good sense of interior design, but the RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) requires its members to pass an ethics exam, have home staging business insurance, and have at least one year of staging experience.

•How many average days were your staged homes on the market last year? 
While it's good to have a stager with a lot of experience, it's also helpful to have a sense of what kind of results their work gets. Ideally, find a stager whose homes sell within 30 days - 30 days is typically the time frame when many realtors will advise their clients to lower their asking price. A stager who helps your home sell before that point is worth consideration.

•What's the typical price range of the homes you stage?
If you are looking to sell a 3 bedroom ranch, you may not want to use a stager who typically works with 6 bedroom estates. Chances are their skills have been fine-tuned to work with that type and size of home - so find a stager whose skills have been fine-tuned to design homes similar to yours.

•How do you stay on top of interior design trends?
As we all know, styles change. And if you are looking to appeal to the greatest number of buyers, you want to be sure your stager is not living in the past. Ask them what resources they use to stay up-to-date on current design.

•Can I see photos from your three most recently staged homes?
While it can certainly be useful to see a stager's most successful homes, it's also important to see what they've been doing recently. If a stager's best work is from five years ago, that's something to keep in mind in making your decision.

•What are your rates?
If you are looking to use a stager but aren't able to commit to paying to stage your whole home, think about focusing on the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Statistically these rooms have the greatest impact on potential home buyers, and staging only a few rooms can be a way to save money while still helping make the best impression with your home.

•How much time will it take you to stage my home?
Generally speaking, a home can be staged in just a day or two. If your stager gives you a time frame of a week or more, ask why; while good stagers are busy and this can influence their time projection, it's also important to keep in mind that quick turn around time can be very helpful in getting your home sold sooner.

•Is your business covered by insurance?
Moving furniture and decorations in and out of your home brings with it the risk of damage. Make sure any potential stager is insured, so that if damage does occur you are not liable. Ask to see proof of insurance so you can have a clear conscience.

•What style would you recommend for my home?
Make sure your stager has taken the time to really look around your home and get a sense of what will work best for you - rather than having a go-to style they use for all homes.

•What can I tackle myself?
Stagers who are truly trying to help you will be honest about letting you know what small projects you can accomplish yourself. (See our blog next week for some of these ideas!)

2. Talk to your realtor.
Many realtors have stagers they trust and work with regularly. Your realtor also wants your home to sell quickly and for a good price, so they will be invested in helping you find the best stager for you. Locally, Jason Rude works most with stager Laura Johnson. She has helped many of Rude Realty's clients sell their home for the best price possible.

Next week we'll wrap our series on staging with some tips and tricks for making some simple design changes yourself!


Find more detailed information on each of these points at our source article,'s "Don't Hire a Home Stager Without Asking These 10 Questions."

Home Staging 101

You’ve heard of staging a home, but what exactly does that mean? What are the costs involved? And is it totally necessary to stage a home before selling?

First things first – just what IS staging? Staging is the process of making temporary decorative changes in a home to help the home sell faster, and for a higher price. This can include rearranging or renting furniture, bringing in art pieces, and adding curtains/drapery (Home Staging vs. Interior Design: What's the Difference?). Unlike interior design, staging is meant to appeal to the greatest number of buyers - rather than the current owner of the home (Home Staging vs. Interior Design: What's the Difference?).

The cost of staging a home can vary depending on location, duration of staging, and how much staging needs to be done (Home Staging and Hiring a Stager). For instance, a vacant home will likely need more work than a home with residents. Additionally, homes in coastal areas are typically more expensive to stage than homes in the Midwest – just another perk of Iowa living! Duration of staging can affect price as well; many stagers charge by the week or month. So a home that is staged for one week will cost significantly less than a home staged for two months. The average price range for staging is $500-$700 here in the Midwest (Don't Hire a Home Stager Without Asking These 10 Questions) (Home Staging and Hiring a Stager). 

Is it necessary to stage your home before selling? Strictly speaking, no. Many homes sell without consulting a stager. However, “a staged property sells 88% faster and for 20% more than a nonstaged one.” (Home Staging vs. Interior Design: What's the Difference?) So while your home will probably sell without the help of staging, the cost of using a professional to help “dress up” your home will likely pay for itself in a sale price increase – not to mention lightening the weight of the home selling process by making it shorter.


Next week we’ll look at how to pick the right stager. We'll also discuss tips and tricks to spruce up your home from professional stagers – some of which you can implement yourself for little to no cost!

Beautiful Home - Get It Before It's Gone!

New on the market is 2705 Lynner Dr. in Des Moines. At $179,900, this house is a steal. And it will be gone in the blink of an eye, so check it out while you can!

Located in a well-established Des Moines neighborhood, this roomy ranch is a perfect family home. Three bedrooms and two baths – one of which is connected to the large master bedroom – are just the start to the home’s many great features. The open-concept kitchen comes with all appliances, the spacious living room includes large windows to let in natural light, and there’s closest space galore throughout the house. Additionally, a wonderful four-season room overlooks the fenced yard, and the deck provides an ideal spot for entertaining. The finished basement includes a great laundry room and plenty of storage, as well as space for a game room or second family room. Surrounded by large, mature trees, this nearly 2,000 total finished sq. ft. home should not be overlooked. This home is eligible for NFC Financing, which includes $10,000 towards personal remodeling touches and $2,500 towards buyer closing costs. Call today for a private showing!

View the listing here or, contact Jason at 515-953-8160 or for more information or to schedule a showing!


  • Air Conditioning: Central
  • Basement: Finished, Unfinished
  • Baths: 2
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Beds Level 1: 3
  • County/Area: Polk County
  • Dining Room: Dining Areas
  • Driveway: Concrete
  • Exterior: Frame
  • Family Room: 1st Floor
  • FB 1 St: 1
  • Foundation: Poured
  • Full Baths: 1
  • Garage: 1 Attached
  • Gross Taxes: 4308.00
  • Half Baths: 1
  • HB 1 St: 1
  • Heat: Gas Forced Air
  • Heat Source: Natural
  • Included Items: Dishwasher, Microwave, Refrigerator, Stove
  • Listing Status: Active
  • Lot SF: 8800
  • Lot Size: 93
  • Other Rooms: 4 Season
  • Property Type: Single Family Home
  • Roof: Asphalt Shingle
  • School District: Des Moines Independent
  • Sewer: City
  • Sq.Ft.: 1344
  • Sqft Bsmt: 1344
  • Sqft Fin Bsmt: 385
  • Street Feature: Concrete
  • Style: Ranch
  • Sub Type: Residential
  • Total Baths: 2.00
  • Water: City
  • Year Built: 1961
  • Zip Code: 50310
  • Zoning: R1-60

Summer in Des Moines: Our Favorite Parks

Summer weather has come to Des Moines, and with it increased opportunities to spend time outside. For many families, parks are the way to go. The Rude Realty staff has put together a list of some of our favorite parks to visit around Des Moines and West Des Moines. This is by no means a comprehensive list! Des Moines has a plethora of options; these are just a few Rude Realty favorites.

Des Moines

  • Ashby Park 3200: 38th Street Des Moines
    Located near Beaverdale, this park features a tennis court, two separate playgrounds, and an open-air shelter, as well as a wading pool and sprayground which are open during the summer months. Its great location makes it easily accessible from any side of town.
  • Union Park: 725 Thompson Avenue Des Moines
    This historic park (established in 1892!) has something for everyone - kids and adults alike. With a playground, rocket slide, enclosed and open-air shelters, tennis and basketball courts, wading pool, sprayground, and the Heritage Carousel, you certainly won't be bored during a trip to Union Park. 
  • Ewing Park: 5300 Indianola Avenue Des Moines
    Containing a BMX trail, children's forest, 18 hole disc golf course, dog park, lilac arboretum, nature trail, open-air shelter, picnic tables, playground, and pond, it's no wonder this is Des Moines' biggest park! Spend some time exploring all Ewing Park has to offer.

West Des Moines

  • American Legion Park: 301 Vine Street, West Des Moines
    This park in the heart of Valley Junction features a basketball and tennis court, grill, picnic tables, playground, open-air shelter, and a sprayground. There is also a baseball field and skate park. One added perk? It's two blocks away from the Rude Realty office! So you can stop by and say hello after your visit :)
  • Ashawa Park: 4431 Waterford Drive, West Des Moines
    Located across the street from the West Des Moines Library, this park has two playgrounds, an open-air shelter, and a walking path that leads to the library. This path has something special, too: storyboards that tell a story from one end of the path to the other. As you walk, you can read the story from start to finish to your children - or challenge them to read it to you!
  • Raccoon River Park: 2500 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines
    Spend the day at Raccoon River park, doing just about anything you can imagine! With a multi-use trail, picnic tables, shelters, playground, soccer/playfield, dog park, swimming beach, nature lodge, softball and soccer complexes, fishing pier, boat ramp, and archery facility, Raccoon River is the perfect place to pass a summer day.

There are many, many more parks in Des Moines and the surrounding areas. Do you have a favorite park? Comment below to tell us about it! 

Des Moines Parks Website
West Des Moines Parks Website

Sunshine and Relays and Gardens, Oh My!

Things are heating up here in Des Moines – both the weather, and the housing market! As we say goodbye to snow (we hope), Jason is excited to show more homes.

This week marks the beginning of Drake Relays at Jason’s alma mater. In celebration of that, Rude Realty hosted a giveaway on Facebook for Bulldog T-Shirts. The lucky winners were Cindy Cleaver, Becky Oler, Marissa Miller, and Jeff Janssen. Congratulations! 

Now that the sun is out, it’s time to think about summer gardens. It’s not too late to do some planting. When thinking about your garden, consider the following:

•Where should you plant your garden? Is there a spot with enough sunlight?
•If your yard is primarily shaded, what are some plant options that require less sun?
•How much time can you devote to maintenance?

Additionally, it’s important to consider which plants will grow best in the climate/environment. According to Midwest Living [], these are some of the easiest to care for plants for Iowa gardens.

•Blanket flower
•Hardy geranium
•Little bluestem
•Russian sage
•Aromatic Aster
•Hardy hibiscus

Get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

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West Des Moines, IA 50265

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332 5th St. - West Des Moines, IA 50265
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