What is a Home Staging Consultant and do I need one?

When would I need a Home Staging Consultant?

Having problems selling your house? Running out of time? Can’t figure out why nobody seems to want to buy your place?

  • Before you leap to the easy and perhaps rash option of simply reducing the price of your house, it may be beneficial to first consider employing a home staging consultant.
  • In any case, reducing the price of a house will not always make it any more attractive; if somebody likes your home, they would make an offer anyway, even if it was below the asking price. So your best bet will be to actually improve the impression your house makes on potential buyers.

Just because you like your home doesn’t mean everybody else will.

  • Taste is a very personal thing, and those cow design armchairs that are so close to your heart might not be everyone’s cup of tea!
  • If you want your house to sell, it’ll need to be clean, tidy and uncluttered. Simply kicking the rubbish under the bed and throwing some cushions about before potential buyers come to visit the property will not be enough to really impress them.
  • Making a house look appealing can be a very difficult task; it takes time and creativity, neither of which everybody has. However much style you think you might possess, there is a difference between a house that looks nice to be living in, and one that looks nice to move into; visitors may think your place looks very ‘homely’ and ‘lived in’, but that doesn’t mean they will want to live in it themselves. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in the property, and you may not be able to create exactly the right impression on your own.

In the same way that people always complain about food never looking as good in reality as in the pictures, it is very disappointing for house hunters to arrive at a property only to find it doesn’t meet their expectations.

  • A house might be lovely in terms of its architecture and design, but unsuitable décor and furnishing can let a property down and discourage potential buyers.
  • In order to ensure your home has the best possible chance of appealing to house hunters, you will need to find yourself a home staging consultant: there are numerous useful websites on the internet that will help you find what you’re looking for, but as with all these things, word of mouth and reputation is always the best indicator to how reliable and suitable someone will be for the job.

Why would I need one?

We’ve all seen the home makeover programmes on television, and the principle behind this profession is fairly simple. Home staging consultants are able to give you help and advice about making your house more appealing to potential buyers, and will ensure your house is as presentable as possible for when buyers come to see the property.

  • They know the market. They know what people are looking for. You might not.
  • They will be able to give an objective opinion on the state and style of your house. Again, perhaps you might not. Especially if you have lived in your home for a long period, it is very easy to become attached to a property. Home staging consultants do not have this attachment, and only have one, very simple aim, that they have been striving to achieve since their emergence in the 1970s; to make a house easier to sell.
  • You will need experienced consultants to provide important, impartial creative advice that could make all the difference in your attempts to sell your house.
You will need to make a decision about the financial benefits of hiring a consultant.
  • Generally, consultancies attempt to ensure the price of employing an advisor is more than covered (hopefully by a substantial amount) by the increase in the house price generated by hiring the advisor.
  • Of course, you don’t have to be selling your house to employ a consultant. You can also have home staging if you just want to make your house nicer to live in. In this case, you will need to be sure the advisor shares similar stylistic preferences to yourself, because rather than making a house appeal to anybody, you will want to make sure it appeals to you.

What they do

They will create a neutral, light and appealing atmosphere inside the house.

  • House seekers will be looking for clean, well presented properties, and also need to be able to imagine themselves living in the house. This means the property needs to be depersonalised. Taste, as everybody knows, is an extremely individual thing, and if someone looks at your house and is confronted with anything too unique or personal, it is unlikely they will have the courage to buy the house and attempt to create their own individual environment.
  • Advisors will also make sure the exterior of your house is presentable, because of course, first impressions are crucial.

You may need to know the difference between a designer and a decorator.

  • Imagine a designer as a plastic surgeon and a decorator as a makeup artist.
  • If a house needs substantial adjustments, you will need a designer with all the necessary experience, knowledge and training.
  • If, however, the changes to your home are more superficial, a decorator will be able to provide useful creative advice about furnishings, room layout etc.

Another crucial element in presenting a house is ensuring a property looks spacious.

  • Anyone who has ever bought or rented a property will know how valuable space is, and there is a refined art to making a place look bigger than it actually is (which, though sneaky, is exactly what you will be wanting to do if you want to impress house hunters).
  • Typically, consultants may recommend the use of mirrors (the larger the better, and for maximum effect, flush the mirror with a corner, or position mirrors opposite each other), advise you to repaint (light rather than white) or suggest using rugs and lamps, preferably projecting towards the ceiling (to create several distinct visual spaces within one room).
  • The importance of creating an impression of openness absolutely cannot be underrated.

Home staging consultants will also have good contacts in the trade business, should you need people to come in and do some work on the house. The experience and contacts they have acquired over their time in the industry will prove invaluable should you need to make adjustments to your property.

  • Costs will obviously vary in each different instance.
  • Often a consultant will offer a free initial general meeting to discuss what needs to be done, but if you want to have a more comprehensive consultation and report made on your property, it could cost you anything between £50 and £200.
  • After that it’ll cost you between £20 and £75 per hour for any hands on work (for example, decorating, tidying, furniture layout etc).
  • The overall fee will usually depend on how much the house price increases due to the work done on the property, but you’ll need to speak to your consultant about your own individual situation.
  • Then, of course, on top of that, you’ll have to pay the trades people required to perform the necessary adjustments to your house.

At the end of the day, a home staging consultant will make your house look open, depersonalised, and suitable for whatever the market happens to be at the time. However, as anyone who has searched for a house knows, luck plays a massive role in the house hunting game. It may be that the first people who come to visit your house love it, or it may be that the right people just never see your property, which can always happen even if it is in the best presentable state possible.

Using a consultancy will, of course, not guarantee a sale, but you will be giving yourself the best possible chance, and it could be the most suitable resort if you need to sell a property quickly and you are lacking in time or universally appealing style.

2 comments on “What is a Home Staging Consultant and do I need one?

  1. Jim McLean on

    Quite an interesting article. Do you have any further information on consultants in the Highlands area of Scotland? (Nairn or Inverness etc.).


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