There’s a popular misconception that often creates debate in the world of real estate and home ownership. It is the belief that a home stager and a home decorator do the same thing. And that anyone with a ‘good eye’ can stage a home and create looks that will achieve the two major goals of home staging; a faster sale at the best possible price.
Though the two may not be as different as apples and oranges, it would be a mistake to assume they are twins. Instead, its better to think of them as close cousins who might at first show a resemblance but once you get to know them, you realize they are vastly different. And the value of local knowledge can be priceless, as I will explain.
The Main Difference Between Home Staging and Home Decorating
When working on a home decorating project it’s a professional’s goal work with the homeowner in order to help them plan and execute the furnishing, decor scheme and aesthetics of their home.
Unlike a home stager, the designer works to make the home reflect the personality, taste and lifestyle of the homeowner. The decorator will make suggestions and recommendations, but the final say on how the space will look always rests in the hands of the homeowner.
Home staging doesn’t take its cues from the homeowner. In fact, when it comes to home staging, it is preferred that the homeowner relinquish all responsibility and allow the home stager to work their magic.
A Home Stager’s Goal? Appeal to the Buyer
There is an important reason that the home stager needs this cooperation from the home seller. The home stager isn’t there to make the space appealing to the homeowner, the stager is there to prepare the space for prospective home buyers.
A home stager, like an interior decorator, focuses on the latest home trends and with creating an environment of attractive comfort. But unlike a decorator, a home stager works to create a flow and decor style that works with the minds of various perspective buyers. A designer has only to appeal to the particular tastes and style of the owner.
A home staging professional uses a wide variety of methods in order to appeal to the largest number of prospective buyers. Where one might be a gardening homebody who loves tea and classical music, another may be a workaholic who runs on triple espressos and rock music.
A home stager has to create a space that would appeal to both of these potential future buyers by staging a space that leaves room for all kinds of prospective home buyers to be able to see themselves living in and tailoring the home to make it their own. Doing so is not a magic trick, but it’s close. And something that only a trained and experienced home staging professional can pull off.
Understanding Local Market Trends: A Specialized Skill
Though a home decorator keeps their primary focus on the trends in the culture of style, the home stager has to follow those trends as well, but that’s not all.
As a home stager I need to be current on media trends and social demographics. I also need a firm understanding of the community I’m providing a service in and the population that has created that community. Instead of using my own tastes, I work with current culture and local flavor to make the space attractive to lots of prospective buyers.
That’s why working with a local home staging expert, rather than a national cookie cutter virtual staging service, like the many that have appeared online recently really pays off. As those who live – or even know – Houston can attest to, the city’s various neighborhoods are quite different, as are the buyers looking for homes in those areas and their personal tastes. It takes local knowledge to get that all right, something a designer in New York, and a computer AI, will almost certainly never have.