What Is The Difference Between Decorating, Staging and Merchandising?

Decorating is a general term that has to do with adding furniture, accessories, drapes, or whatever is needed to a home. Most consumers would "decorate" vs staging or merchandising their personal homes.
Staging and Merchandising should be the same thing if done properly with the goal being to design a home to help sell it. There are many merchandising firms (including mine) that specialize in re-merchandising a model or doing it on very tight budgets. The key for both should be we are there to sell homes - period. If the builder (or Realtor®) isn't selling a home we are all out of business.
Right now we all have to be creative to survive. I recently did a home for a builder where we teamed up with the local Ronald McDonald House and did a model completely with donated, gently used items. We got tremendous press, over 25,000 people toured the home and we raised a lot of money for a very worthwhile charity.
If there is a difference between a Merchandiser or Stager I'm thinking that a Merchandiser provides more long term solutions and ties in with the marketing of the home more and a stager is more of a short term solution.

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