Home staging is the real estate strategy of decorating your home to be as marketable as possible to your target demographic. Home staging is done by interior decorators and other design pros hired by the homeowner or realtor, prior to putting a house on the market. Think of it as setting the stage for potential buyers to fall more easily in love with their future homes — and to spend top dollar to get them. It’s likely to be worth the investment: The Real Estate Staging Association reports that staged homes spend 90 percent less time on the market than those that are not staged. Home stagers can also be hired even if you’re not going anywhere. Stagers can consult on new layouts for your current home, much like an interior decorator.
Home staging can take place while you still occupy the house you plan to sell, or when the home is vacant. For an occupied home, the home stager will clear out clutter, rearrange furniture, and bring in decor and furniture as needed to create the perfect environment. Usually an occupied home has far too much of the current owner’s personality stamped on it, which makes it hard for prospective buyers to envision themselves living there. A home stager should neutralize and beautify the space. In vacant homes, a home stager will bring in furniture and decor so that potential buyers don’t walk into an empty house, which can be equally hard to imagine living in as a cluttered, occupied home.