10 Home Staging Mistakes To Avoid

Dated: 08/28/2018

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Staging is one of those often-overlooked details that can make all the difference when it comes time to sell. According to research conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 49 per cent of potential buyers said that staging impacted their view of a home, while 58 per cent of Realtors reported a significant increase in sale price after a home was staged.
Unfortunately, there are some staging mistakes that actually make a home seem less desirable to potential buyers. Make sure you’re not falling prey to these errors.

Removing all belongings:
While many people think that offering their home as a clean slate will entice buyers, the opposite is actually true. Even if you don’t share the same style as the potential purchaser, it will still be easier for them to imagine the home as their own if there’s some furniture and décor in it.

Not clearing out clutter:
Although sellers shouldn’t remove all their personal property from the home before listing it, they don’t want to show a potential buyer a cluttered space either. According to NAR’s research, the single best thing you can do to improve your chances of a sale is to declutter, so make sure that every table, chair, mantel or bedside table is neat and presentable before potential buyers come to look.

Choosing the wrong paint colors:

Paint colors can be very personal. But you want to make sure that anyone viewing your home will feel like they can move in tomorrow, not leave them pondering how much time it will take and what it will cost to have those teal green walls repainted. While a neutral palette might sound boring and tempt you to add some color, neutral shades are more likely to appeal to the aesthetics and furnishings of more buyers. Add color with artwork and accessories, but don't force it on them with bold paint schemes that won't work for most.

Having too much furniture for the space:
Just because you aren’t removing every stitch of furniture from the home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pare down the furnishings slightly. If you’re a fan of oversized furniture or love having a chair, sideboard or sofa against every wall, you may want to reconsider. Having too much furniture in the space can make rooms look small, crowded, dirty and dark, so consider having the seller rent a storage unit while the house is on the market to clear out extraneous pieces and give the home a more streamlined look.

Creating a theme room:

The entire purpose of staging a house is to show off the positive features of the space. What you want a potential buyer to remember are the selling points of the home, like the beautiful hardwood floors, enormous eat-in kitchen, and natural stone fireplace. You don't want them remembering your house for its Star Wars-inspired dining room or jungle-themed master bath. Chances are, that's all a potential buyer is likely to remember, and that is not a good thing.

Not letting in enough light:
Those blackout curtains may be great for letting you sleep past sunrise, but they’re not ideal for staging. Letting in natural light will make the home look more inviting and less dingy, whereas a dark home can seem small and depressing. Push back the curtains, turn on some lamps and let the light shine in.

Bare floors:
While dingy carpets are certainly not going to land you a buyer, bare floors are actually an impediment to selling the home as well. If possible, pull up any worn or stained wall-to-wall carpeting and use area rugs to make rooms look cohesive while effortlessly masking any imperfections in the floors.

Keeping it too personal:
A potential buyer needs to picture themselves living in the house, and it’s not easy to do when there is a lifetime of someone else's memories staring them in the face. Personal items such as family photos, diplomas, and even religious artifacts must be packed away

Misleading potential home buyers:
Staging should make the positive aspects of a house so appealing, potential buyers are willing to overlook a few negatives. Purposely trying to conceal any problems can be a deal breaker when the truth is inevitably discovered. Your goal should NEVER be to hide anything from the buyer. For example, shoving a wardrobe in front of the bedroom window to block an ugly view is not acceptable. Instead, soften that view with a pair of light sheers and highlight the soaring ceilings and original woodwork. Now the negatives are no longer the main focus and nowhere near as distracting, and the room has nothing to hide.

Going overboard with staging:
Perfectly set dining tables, bathtubs filled with water and rose petals, a breakfast tray on every bed ...all of this screams theatrics and buyers can see right through it. Potential buyers walk through a house in literally minutes, so why place attention on a houseful of props when the goal is to sell the house?  While this type of staging might work for a model home, the average house already has too much to look at and this just distracts buyers. Make sure to keep the focus on the space itself and not all the extra stuff!

Sidestep these staging mistakes sellers often make and you’ll be handing the keys to the new owners in no time.

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John Kwong

As a veteran realtor with CIR Realty and member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™, my goal is to ensure that you have the best real estate experience possible. For those looking to sell....

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