Home Staging: What it Is, and What it Isnt

By: Dw Wilson

The most common overall misconception about home staging is that it's basically on par with personal decorating and with the things a realtor would recommend doing before showing a home. Truth be told, staging is neither decorating nor showing. Read on and you'll see some of the differences.

At the essence of decorating is personalization; making your home suited to you, based on your own tastes and aesthetics. Staging a home is essentially the opposite of this. Staging involves the de-personalization of a home; making it attractive and appealing, but basically neutral in terms of styling. Now, this doesn't mean you have to go painting everything beige, making sure the furniture is all monochromatic and that there's not an ounce of red anywhere ( all common myths about staging!). A professional and qualified home stager will have the skills to create a balanced, and enticing living space in your home by using various elements of color, texture, furniture arrangement, artwork placement among other tricks. Color can be used as accents- but a stager will make sure to tie everything in so that it's all complimentary.

When showing a home there are certain things that a realtor may recommend doing that include setting the lights just so, perhaps making sure the home smells nice and welcoming and maybe setting up some fresh flowers to bring a sense of good cheer into the home. These are all fine and dandy little things to attend to before a showing, but staging a home is a much more involved process.

Part of home staging, which relates to what was previously mentioned about de-personalization, involves de-cluttering. A professional home stager has the expertise to know what needs to be packed up and removed in order to create a more refined sense of space in your home, and to show off the space in its best light. Now, this may seem like something you can just go ahead and do yourself- but a pro will help guide you. You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to be objective about your own home.

The other aspect about a home staging company is the access they have to items that'll help you optimize your home's strengths and create a beautiful space. For example, a professional stager may recommend a couch and living room furniture of particular proportions, dimensions, style and color. They'll either have such items in storage or be able to rent them for you. With their trained eye, your space will come to life in a new way, and in a way that'll fetch the highest price of your home. Many folks who have their homes staged end up deciding to stay as they fall in love with their property's incredible transformation- and this is not a myth!

Another common idea that is just not so, is that home staging is only for model homes- that is, homes that are new, and empty. A home stager can do an equally bang up job with an older home that has been lived in for years. In such cases, they'll generally do some serious de-cluttering and then stage using a blend of your furniture and some other rented show pieces. With older homes other aspects of staging may include painting the walls, and spending some time enhancing the outdoor curb appeal of the home.

Another myth that isn't true is the idea that home stagers are expensive. Stagers are eager to do their very best with whatever budget is available. They can offer consultations where they walk through the home and give you a plan to work on yourself, or they can do the whole job. So again, it really depends on what you feel comfortable with. One fact remains, well staged homes will often sell 50% faster and for 7-10% more than a home that hasn't been staged. How can you afford not to have your home staged, is the most pertinent question you should be asking yourself as a home seller.

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