If you think that home staging and home decorating are the same, you’re not alone. I, too, at one time used to think they were the same thing--but I learned later on that there are actual differences between them. In fact, not being clear on their definitions can influence how quickly you sell your home.
Once you make the decision to sell your home it is important that you realize your home is no longer a home but rather a house on display for others to see, with a goal of selling a lifestyle--but not necessarily your lifestyle.
What do I mean? I mean that people have varying tastes and what looks good to you doesn’t always look good to others--and essentially, this is the distinction between decorating and staging.
Decorating is creating a space that suits your style. Staging is creating a space that lets potential buyers imagine how it can suit their style. In order for them to do this, they have to be willing to see your home as a blank canvas rather than as a reflection of the current residents.
Potential owners are looking for a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful, and organized, so you must tailor your home in a way that gives them that. Here are some ideas on how to make it happen:
- Cut back the clutter to minimize distraction
- Scale back your decorating style so it appeals to more people
- Try to create a calming space with a simple color scheme
- Freshen up any dated wall and furnishing colors
- Arrange furniture aesthetically
- Simplify the sentimental touches
- Keep finishes on fixtures neutral and classic
- Showcase cool architectural features
Remember, the goal is to think like a potential home buyer. Although being objective about your home and depersonalizing it can be challenging, it’s crucial if you want to sell it. If all else fails, talk with your realtor. He or she can often help with the staging process, or at the very least, put you in contact with a staging professional.