Home staging is the preparation of a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by insuring it is a welcoming, attractive product that any buyer can see himself/herself living in and, thus, desire to purchase.
Staging requires a monetary investment into selling what are some people's greatest investment: their home and property. So it is not just decorating, but also needs to include an understanding of how to find the equity in that home and property, where the Real Estate market is for that home, in that neighborhood, so the homeowner can choose where to make those investments. Comparable houses for sale on the market in the area also needs to be considered to know how to stage the home so it sells quickly and for more money. Return on Investment is the purpose of Staging.
As for simple decorating to stage, people often use art, painting, accessories, lights, greenery, and carpet to stage the home, to give potential buyers a more attractive first impression of the property. They also rearrange or "temporarily replace" furniture. Properly executed staging leads the eye to attractive features, while down-playing flaws.