Do’s and Don’t’s for Home Staging Success

sls-imageOne of the leading home staging industry experts I’ve come across in some time is Shauna Lynn Simon. She’s been an invaluable resource for me as I prepare my keynote address for the RESA 2017 International Home Staging Convention, Jan.19-21 in Las Vegas.

 Read her post below about what designers shouldn’t do when they stage homes – and what they should go if they want to get more involved in the staging industry.


By Shauna Lynn Simon

While it is common for the worlds of home staging and interior design to overlap, there are some very distinct differences between the two, beginning with the industries themselves.

Home staging operates within the real estate industry, not the interior design industry, and the real estate industry operates with different rules, and very different timelines. That said, it is not uncommon for home stagers to offer design work, or for designers to offer home staging work, but it is important for both to fully understand the various aspects and differences.

When staging a home for sale:

Don’t Listen to Your Clients

You are not designing the house for the current homeowners,  but instead styling it for the future owners. Your client’s personal tastes only come into play if it coincides with that of your buyer demographic. While it is important to understand the needs of your homeowners for everyday function, should they choose to live in the house for the duration of the sale, your décor choices should be based on what will best showcase the home for prospective home buyers.

Don’t Select Trendy Finishes

If renovations, updates, or upgrades to the home are required, choose classic, neutral finishes, and avoid any permanent elements that may be considered trendy.

Don’t Over-Decorate-  Less is More!

 In Interior Design, unless your client is a minimalist, it is common to embellish your designs, however in home staging, less really is more! Remember that the focus is the home itself, and your decorating and styling should compliment this.

Clients who are willing to pay for what they want vs clients wanting only to invest in areas that are sure to produce a return. In interior design, spaces are designed to the personal tastes of the homeowners, and quality is not over-looked. When selling a home, clients are interested in investing only in the necessary updates, upgrades, and repairs that will increase the overall value of the home.

In interior design, the spaces are created based on how your clients will use them  In home staging, it is important to clearly define each space of the home, and create an experience based on how most homebuyers will want to use the areas. Your goal is to merchandise the home in order to appeal to the ideal of homebuyers and to sell them on the overall lifestyle of the home.

Ultimately, home staging requires an understanding of the real estate industry, buyer behaviours, and the psychology of home selling.

If you are considering adding home staging to your list of services, here are a few tips for getting started:

1/ Determine if you will list home staging as a public service, or simply provide it to your current clients on an as-needed basis – the volume that you expect to do will determine your best business model.

2/ Invest in a quality home stager training course.

3/ Join the home staging community. The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) is a non-profit trade organization designed to support the home staging community, and bring together a community of home stagers worldwide. And join online home staging discussion forums such as Facebook Groups

If you’re interested in learning more about what a career in home staging means for you, I have created a FREE webinar  just for you!

shaunaShauna Lynn Simon  is fiercely committed to guiding aspiring home stagers to achieve success in all facets of their business. She has been a featured  expert on podcasts, newspapers, home décor and business magazines, live events and even has a recurring segment on a local daytime talk show. Now she shares her love of home staging and her unique industry insights with you through SLS Academy’s training courses of all levels

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