ASK THE EXPERT


A. I don’t know what kind of home you have, so I’m going to have to assume that it’s a reasonably typical semi or detached house and not some impossibly luxurious penthouse pad worth zillions or a moated mansion in acres of ground. And having made that assumption, the short answer to your question is “probably not!”

Home staging, as I’m sure you know, essentially involves bringing in a consultant to “dress” your home. It’s very big in America, where – surprise, surprise - they sometimes take it to extremes, completely changing the décor and putting all your much-loved furniture in storage in order to bring in stuff to create what is considered to be the “right look.” Needless to say, such a service can cost thousands of dollars.

Thankfully, here in the UK, this kind of thing hasn’t really caught on, at least not in the mainstream market. The principal reason, of course, is cost. Most estate agents will tell you it’s never worth shelling out thousands on a property you are trying to sell - for the simple reason that you are unlikely to get your money back.

Nevertheless, there are a few home staging specialists over here. Without going the whole hog, a typical preliminary consultation might cost no more than £100-£200, and include advice on de-cluttering, colour recommendations, guidance on furniture placement and help with creating the right kind of focus for each room.

Some of this – like de-cluttering – makes perfect sense. However, whether you actually need such a service is another matter. For one thing, your estate agent can easily give you any advice on presentation that might be useful. But in any case, it sounds as though your house is already in perfectly saleable condition. And unless you have a rather eccentric taste in décor, I certainly wouldn’t think you would benefit from advice on colour schemes. After all it’s not necessary to make your house entirely devoid of character in order to sell it!