Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home Decor vs Home Staging

I get asked this question all of the time especially from clients looking to sell their home.  Just this week, in fact, I had to deal with some sellers who were confused (and a bit argumentative) that the terms home staging and home decor were the same thing - they are not!

Most people are very surprised to hear that they are almost the opposite of each other.  Preparing a home to sell is very different than preparing a home to live in. 

When you move into a home (and everyone does this, it's totally normal) you want it to work for your lifestyle and reflect your personal tastes. You likely bought the home in the first place because it accommodated your lifestyle. Maybe you don't need a kitchen nook but and office or a piano would be better for you, maybe you love bold and bright colours all over the walls, maybe you don't have a dining set but a pool table instead - those are all your taste and lifestyle choices - that is home decorating. 

When it comes to selling your home, buyers will focus on the crazy colours, the choice and location of furniture even though they are just buying the home not the contents inside.  If you are selling your home and want top dollar (who doesn't) you must put some work into it - re-paint in a neutral tone, clean the house, place furniture in areas or in a formation that would work for most buyers - this is called home staging.  The buyers need to see themselves in the space and mentally move in.  So keeping it clean, neutral and some furniture (in a simple set up) that can help buyers visualize their furniture in (hopefully) their new home.  the furniture, art and accessories should compliment the home and not be the primary focus - what are you trying to sell ?  the home, or the furniture?

I also get sellers who want more and more furniture and art and accessories - every corner and every wall space covered or filled - again that's not home staging.  Yes, once the new owners move into any space they will fill it up with items and accessories of their choice but when a home is shown/viewed by potential buyers and there isn't any wall space or any room to move - they feel cramped and overwhelmed.  No one ever says to their agent - "It's cramped, dark, dirty and feels small - I love it!" If you follow your home stagers advice your home will be more salable - it will appeal to more buyers and you will get good offers.

I hear from sellers all of the time 'well, this is how I would do it if I were living here' - that's great but you have decided not to live here anymore SO you need to move on and allow someone else in and live how they would live in the space.  A home stager is an impartial party who can help you place furniture (or just give you ideas) to create flow and mass appleal, they can also recommend paint colours for creating a calm and soothing space, they can also give you great ideas to create curb appeal.

In the case of home staging to SELL your home - less really is more.

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