Let's face it – not all of us are great when it comes to presenting our homes in the best possible light. If you are selling your home it is the one time when it needs to look perfect and sometimes the services of a professional can make that job so much easier. A home stager is the ideal option if your home is a bit on the boring side, hard to keep clean and tidy, empty because you no longer live there or your furniture has seen better days. But is it worth the money and could you save yourself a fortune if you did it all yourself.
Trying to sell your home in today's economic environment has to be one of the most stressful things you can do. Getting the price you think it is worth is going to take much more than simply hiring an estate agent. You need to present your home in much the same way as a display at a retail store might. It needs to look like anyone could live there, three times larger than its actual size and so clean and tidy that you could eat off any surface.
What will a home stager do?
A home stager should be an expert in the market you are trying to sell in. They should set up your home to appeal to the right buyer for your home. For example they may bring in a child's bed and set up your spare room as a child's bedroom if they are appealing to families. Or if you are trying to attract young professionals they may bring in a range of fancy kitchen gadgets and set up your box room as a study.
Your home stager may make the most of what already exists in your home or they may also offer a hire service for extra items you may need. This is especially useful if your home is empty or between tenants.
If you want you could simply get advice from a home stager and do the work yourself. In most cases, the home stager will provide a team to paint your walls, move furniture around and hang the right curtains.
How much will it cost?
This isn't a cheap service. But put into perspective with the amount you may gain from selling your house at the upper end of the market you may feel it is a worthwhile investment.
Generally a consultation will cost anywhere from £50 to £200 and then you will be expected to pay an hourly rate for any work which is done. If it is necessary for you to hire any furniture you will need to pay for this for the duration of your sale period. The consultant will give you a report detailing what they would do and you could go ahead and do this for yourself which would be cheaper but harder work.
Sometimes the fee is worked out at a percentage of the increase in valuation on your home. This way the home stager is really earning their money and you feel like you are investing in your home rather than wasting money.
Most of us have watched so many make-over programs on homes that we are quite aware of what needs to be done to bring a home up to scratch. But if you know that your taste is different to the average person, a home stager may be exactly what you need.