Interior Decorators and Real Estate Sales
We are often asked how real estate staging professionals differ from interior decorators. The fields are in some ways poles apart in what they do. Interior decorators use some of the same tools as real estate stylists. They both use the elements of colour, texture, architectural design, and art to make a room look sensational. Both services pay attention to light, traffic patterns, and those tiny details that can make a room sing out.
Ultimately, though, it’s the end product that separates interior design applications from the business of staging a property for sale.
An interior designer comes into your home with the sole purpose of designing a space that is all about you; who you are and how you live. He or she uses your favourite colours, as well as employing your style in art and in furniture. She creates a room that will help your guests know and understand who you are.
A real estate staging expert comes into your home with the same tools, but works to design a room that is pointedly not about you. His or her job is to reestablish you home’s ability to captivate others without being too personal. More specifically, your staging specialist wants to make your home appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
When buyers enter a home, their first impression needs to be: “Oh. I could live here.” That impression needs to come quickly and powerfully. Buyers make up their minds almost instantly about a house – either it has what it takes to appeal to them and their lifestyle, or it does not. Your house styling specialist is trained to know what buyers are looking for and to feature it, whatever IT is, prominently.
Real estate sales are made from the gut of the buyer, and your home stylist knows how to grab that gut within seconds.
There are some things in common with interior design and staging. Both work for harmony among the elements and a peaceful, restful ambiance. Decorators use the things you love to create these emotions. Stylists have the challenge of making a home look personal without it being specific to you and your family. The home must be appealing to the eye and other senses, but it must also seem willing to include and embrace the new buyer’s colours and their personal sense of style. A good design team can teach your house to send powerful messages like these. Communication of this kind takes a special blend of talent and tools only a home styling professional can bring to your open house or showing.
The personal touches your decorator added speak volumes about you, they don’t always appeal to a wide variety of others. They can also drown out the more subtle seduction of your master bathroom or the sedate, traditional living room. The more unique your home and its décor, the more you need a real estate stager because in this game, it’s all about neutrality.
Following a visit to your home for evaluation, a property staging professional will give you a list of things that should be altered or eliminated. Depending on the staging package you’ve chosen, your stylist will either give you the list of walls to be painted and curtains to be replaced or, he or she will set about making the changes with the help of a team.
This kind of work can include arrangements for cleaning and wallpaper removal, to bringing in new, less flamboyant furniture that will let the house’s design and flexibility do all the talking. You may choose to stage one or two rooms, or give the entire house a spa day. You may include the exterior to enhance street appeal, or allow the buyer to imagine his/her own landscape design.
When you’re looking for a professional real estate stylist, the number of service options they offer may be a deciding factor for you and your budget. Nevertheless, you can effectively use even minimal staging to ensure that buyers want a second and even third look. (As it works out, real estate agents will often show staged properties more often than homes that are au natural. This is because they are so universally appealing to buyers.) Staged houses sell faster and for more money than those that are not.
Before you make your final real estate decisions, discuss the styling of your property with a real estate staging expert. Such a consultation can make the business of profitably selling your investment a happier transaction.

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