• Melinda Christman

What exactly is a 'Occupied Home Consultation'?

What to expect during a home staging consultation.

An occupied home staging consultation is an Olive + Opal service offered to homeowners who are still living in their house while they sell. Unlike vacant home staging where we furnish a property top to bottom with furniture and accessories, an occupied consult is aimed to offer you tips and suggestions to help you present your property at its best!

You may be thinking, what exactly is an occupied staging consultation? Should I be intimidated? How long will it take? Is someone going to just come to my house and judge our messes and disorganization? Don’t worry! These are totally common questions with really easy answers. Home staging services have grown tremendously in the last several years with more and more staging companies popping up to meet the demands of the St. Louis market. But while staging services are growing in popularity, that certainly doesn’t mean that everyone has used the service as commonly as other home services, like interior painters.

First and most importantly, there is no need to feel intimidated! As professional stagers, we arrive at your home, walk through our process and immediately ease any fears. While it can be difficult to swallow, we want our sellers to begin to think of their house as a property to be sold and no longer thought of as their home. All tips and suggestions are made with the intention to sell the property faster and at a larger profit. Many of the tactics we use to stage a property, including cleaning and decluttering, will help with the effort of packing and moving, so think of this as a jumpstart to the process!

We walk through each room of the house, including outdoor areas and verbally provide a to-do list for the homeowner. As we walk through the home, we will evaluate each room to determine the most effective updates that will show the home in its best light. We encourage homeowners to take notes during the walkthrough if they plan to tackle the to-do’s themselves. If not, we are happy to help facilitate (and bring in local partners, as needed) to complete the staging to-do’s for an hourly fee after the consultation.

Here is a list of some questions we evaluate in each room:

  • PURPOSE - Does the room have an intended purpose? Is it being used/ displayed in that way?

  • FOCAL POINT - Does this room have a focal point, for example, an architectural element that we want to highlight, like a beautiful fireplace?

  • CLUTTER - Is the room too cluttered or does it feel too sparse?

  • FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT - Is the current furniture or art arrangement optimal for pictures and showings?

  • FURNITURE QUALITY - Is the current furniture in good condition or should we consider alternative options?

  • DISTRACTIONS - Are there oddities that need to be addressed, such as weird nooks or angles that might distract a buyer?

  • LIGHTING - How is the lighting, light and bright? Is additional lighting needed?

  • WALLS - Are the walls clean, neutral and in good condition?

  • FLOORING - Does flooring and rugs appear to be in good shape?

  • CLEANLINESS - Is each room in the home well organized and clean? Does it smell nice or are there distracting odors?

  • STORAGE SPACE - Are closets being used to hide junk, do they need to be paired down?

  • CURB APPEAL - Does the outside look as good as the inside? Are there any eyesores that may need to be covered? Is the front door, walkway, windows and shrubbery appealing enough to make a potential buyer want to come in to see more?

  • WINDOW COVERINGS - Are these neutral, well maintained and complementary to a contemporary neutral decor? Or are they too dark, too specific or too dated?

  • ARTWORK - Are the walls too bare or does the art not fit appropriately in the current location? Do we need more/less?

  • PERSONAL EFFECTS - Are the personal artifacts distracting buyers from the home’s potential? What should be stored/ packed away?

  • STYLING - Are the built-in shelves properly styled and not over-packed?

  • FIXTURES - Are the lighting and plumbing fixtures functional or are they dated or in need of repair?

  • LINENS - Does the bedding or bath towels need to be refreshed/ updated?

O+O staging consultations are booked for a 2-hour time slot and we will walk through the entire house and outdoor spaces with you during that time. As we near the two hour mark, we will talk through the list of items to be addressed and prioritize it with you, based on time and expense, to ensure that we are maximizing your return. Some quick updates, i.e., furniture or accessories placement, can be done on the spot.

Whether you tackle your to-do list yourself or enlist our help, we will leave you with a clear path of the next steps and action items after the appointment. If you are short on time and would like our help checking off the list, we will provide you an on-the-spot quote for hours and materials. We can help purchase new bed linens, provide rental furniture, as needed, and help coordinate with third parties, like painters or lawn service companies.

As you can see, we pack a big punch in a short consultation appointment! The most important thing we do for you is to provide an honest, unbiased and professional perspective. We want to show you what buyers want and exactly how to give it to them! You will be accepting an offer in no-time.


Olive and Opal Interiors is a St. Louis based Home Staging and Redesign company. We specialize in the art of preparing your home for the market. We use proven strategies to ensure the home is going to show its best and command the highest offer. Call or email us today to schedule a consult.