In the course of my career I have been asked many times to explain the difference between Home Staging® and Interior Decorating. Even though both processes involve a great deal of resources, creativity, talent and skills, they are two different things.
Staging® is the process of preparing your home for sale. When you get ready to place your home on the market it becomes a product and just like any product at the local store it has features and benefits, pluses and minuses. Now more than ever, your home will need to stand out among the competition. In order to compete it should be priced right and look better than any other house on the market.
Decorating is the process of maximizing and enhancing the beauty of your home so you can enjoy it even more. It is keeping up with the current trends so the house is not out of style. Decorating will also maximize you home’s equity. It will invite others to enjoy your home.
Staging® is becoming mandatory. You have to stage® your home to sell it in this down market. Staged® houses on the market look like well cared and maintained properties. The old way of just putting a “for sale’ sign is over. Staging® involves cleaning, de- cluttering, rearranging the furniture and accessories to show the features of the home.
Decorating is optional. You decide if and when you want your home to be redecorated. You plan ahead and work a budget for it. You are not decorating your home because you are selling it but because you want to live in it and enjoy it even more. Therefore it is your choice whether to redecorate or not.
Staging® is a fairly short process. It takes an average of two to five days to stage® a home depending on the square footage. If a house is vacant it may take longer as a lot of furniture and accessories will need to be brought in. On the other hand when a house is lived in, most of the time the client’s furniture is used and it can shorten the process of staging®. When staging® you have a deadline. The house needs to be on the market at a certain date and it should be ready by then.
Decorating is a long process. You embark on an adventure with your interior decorator. Together or on your own you will invest time selecting finishes, colors patterns, fabrics, textures, furnishings and accessories. It will reflect your taste and your personality. Time will be devoted to reach that goal. It can take months to find that very special piece you have always wanted, but could not find before.
Staging® is “de-personalizing”.The purpose of staging® is to “de-accessorize”. Family pictures, portraits and personal accessories are removed. Mostly neutral colors are used. The goal is for the prospective buyers to be able to envision their possessions in the house. They should not “fall in love” with your furnishings or accessories but they should” fall in love” with your house. The potential buyer needs to feel he is at home, not in YOUR home.
Decorating is very personal. We always tell our clients that their house should be a reflection of them and who they are. It should display your favorite art, books and family pictures.
We asked San Francisco personality, author of Fly Solo and Founder of Jet Set Extra Teresa Rodriguez about her opinion on staging:
“ I have done both. With my first home, we brought in a designer and gave her Carte Blanche. We then sold the house with all the furniture with it. The second home we hired the same designer. Our home was featured in Sunset Magazine. When we sold it we brought in a stager. She removed much of the furniture to make it look bigger, since our home was the highest priced property per square feet at the time. Our home was sold to an astronaut!
Your home should say with pride: “this is who I am”.
Happy Decorating or Staging®!
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