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The Difference between Decorating and Staging a Home

There is a big difference between Decorating a home to live, versus Staging a home to sell.  

Decorating is making your home best suited for your design style and personalizing it to function with your everyday life.  You want your home to tell the story of who lives there, what you like to do, what you value, where you have been, who you love, how you spend you time.  It should speak to your preferences and be customized to your needs.  Guests get a inside glimpse of who you are just by visiting.  

Staging is styling your home when you are about to put it on the market to sell.  You no longer want your home to tell your story, you want it to tell one that will resonate with BUYERS.  To do this, you must think like a business marketer.  You aren’t selling your home, you are selling a product.  You have to make the mental shift from seeing it as ‘your home’ to ‘a house’.

You want to appeal to the most buyers, so many of the personal touches and style-specific choices you made to fit your needs will need to be changed or packed away.  Buyers need a cleaner slate to envision how the home could work best for them and their furnishings.  They shouldn't feel like a guest visiting your home.  

You want them to be visually ‘trying the home on for size’ to see if their furniture would fit, or in the mindset of taking the home for a ‘test drive’, seeing how it would function for their life.  By de-personalizing your home, buyers don't have to mentally work as hard to see themselves living there.

You would be surprised how difficult it is for some people to see past what is in front of them versus seeing what ‘could be’.  For example, if you have turned a bedroom into an office, some buyers will think there is not room for bedroom furniture.  If you have bold, bright color walls, some people can’t see past the room not matching their tastes or the work of changing the paint.

inspiration photos taken at Belclaire Homes (builder) model home, Prosper Tx.  Designer unknown.

Staging tells an idealistic home story.  It paints a picture for the buyer what it is like to live in the home.  Everything stays clean, well maintained, with plenty of storage & space to entertain. You want to sell the idea of reading with coffee in bed on a weekend and baking yummy desserts in the kitchen.  Sell the DREAM.  

-The Decorating Coach-

Need some help staging your home to sell?  Visit our Coaching page for more info!


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