Worlds Apart – Home Staging versus Home Decorating

While home staging has been around since the 1970’s it seems most home sellers and a few real estate agents still have misconceptions about the practice and the profession.

The most extensive incongruities are that home staging is simply putting furniture and decorations into an empty house, or that it is the addition or updating of décor before selling a home. While there is an ounce of truth in both statements, those broad and incomplete statements are likened to two broad brush strokes on a blank canvas versus the completed vision of a work of art.

So let’s look at the full picture by further defining the home staging versus home decorating processes.  Decorating is catering to the tastes and interests of the people living in a home or working in a space. Essentially, it is a much more personal expression influenced by lifestyle and life experiences even if it is being directed to or by a third-party. The result is generally a space that is very meaningful, individual and wholly relatable to the personalities of those living in the home. Freedom of decorative expression is one of the coveted benefits of homeownership – the ability to customize and make your space solely yours.

Conversely, the goals and purpose of home staging are vastly different and are based singularly upon real estate transactions.  Home staging is meant to depersonalize the space and accentuate the positive attributes of the dwelling for sale to get the asset sold quickly at top dollar. Here, the goal is to appeal to the broadest range of potential home buyers and not the single tastes and preferences of the homeowner. The eclectic taste of the homeowner versus what appeals to the home buying population can often be dynamically opposing perspectives. Thusly, the differing goals of home staging and decorating become more apparent.

So why all the fuss about what some may still call semantics? Well, potentially thousands and thousands of dollars could be the difference!

The home staging artist knows what appeals to most home buyers and develop the vision that best fits into the particular home for sale. Their job is to accentuate the best features of the home while minimizing the less attractive. Utilizing lighting, furniture and décor in combination with the home’s inherent architectural elements they create the spaces others can more easily see themselves living in.

Home stagers understand the factors affecting buying and selling of a home and how to combine the final elements into a completed package that buyers will find both personally appealing and worth the investment.

A correctly staged home may directly affect the amount of time a house remains on the market as well as the amount the home sells for. 

So, depending on the market and condition of the home, the “semantics” of home staging versus home decorating could mean thousands. That is why it is critical that both the home sellers and the real estate agent accurately determine when home staging should come into play and how they can positively affect the selling experience.

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