6 Common Home Staging Mistakes

Before listing a home on the market, staging the property is one of the first steps a seller should take. Effectively staging a home showcases its best features and helps potential buyers imagine themselves making the place their new home.

great looking kitchen asset

But there’s more to staging your home than putting some of your personal belongings in storage and styling furniture. It’s possible to make mistakes that can hurt rather than help your home’s chances of getting an offer. 

Here are six common blunders to avoid when staging your home so it can make a good first impression on potential buyers.

Leaving Too Many Personal Touches 

Whether it’s a large family portrait hanging over your mantle or your prized collection of spoons from all of your family travels, having too many personal touches around your home can be distracting or even off-putting to prospective buyers. It’s nothing personal against you, your family, or your collections. But when homes are overly personalized, it makes it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living there.

Before you start clearing your home, ask your prospective real estate agents what items should be packed up and put in storage, and which ones can stay until you receive an offer. A top-notch agent will know what does, and doesn’t, appeal to buyers in your area.

Using the Wrong Sizes for Decorative Pieces 

While removing personal touches is an important part of preparing a home for the market, when staging your home it is still a good idea to incorporate decorative elements, including artwork, plants, and more. But before putting a bunch of artwork and renovations on your credit card to prepare your home for sale, it’s important to make sure they fit not only the style of home but also the size of the room.

Larger rooms with tall ceilings and expansive walls call for artwork to fill the space. If you instead hang a small framed work of art, it can make the whole room appear smaller than it actually is. Likewise, if a single piece of art takes up too much of a wall, it can also negatively impact the space.

When choosing a piece of artwork, a vase for floral arrangements, or another decorative element, let the house itself guide your selections. The type of pieces you choose for a modern industrial space should be different from what you would pick for a Victorian home.

Going Too Bold, or Boring, With Paint Colors

As a homeowner, you should feel free to personalize your space by choosing whatever paint colors you like. When it comes time to sell your home, it’s a good idea to remove some of that personalization by repainting with more neutral colors. 

But neutral doesn’t have to be boring. Though it might be tempting to paint all of the walls white, your space may actually be better displayed by choosing from the gray or beige color families with the occasional pop of color. 

Ask your realtor for suggestions on the paint colors and finishes that will appeal to the most buyers. Real estate agents can be one of your best resources for styling your home to sell. Plus, it helps them to earn their commission by getting you the best price possible.

Having Too Much Furniture in a Space

It’s a common misconception that having several pieces of furniture in one room can make it look better. In actuality, having too much furniture often makes a room, or even a whole home, appear smaller.

When staging a home, be sure to select pieces of furniture that appropriately fit the size of the room. While doing this, you should also make sure each room has a specific purpose, such as bedroom, office, and rec room, as this will help prospective buyers imagine how they might use the space if they buy it. For example, convert your children’s cluttered playroom into a spare bedroom by picking a bed appropriate for the size of the room as well as a few key pieces, such as a nightstand and dresser.

Whether you’re planning on using your own furniture or renting pieces for staging, now is a good time to sell or donate pieces that you don’t plan to take to your next home. The good news is you don’t have to do all of the work yourself. There are a number of companies available for hire that specialize in home organization, removing unwanted furniture, and staging services. They can tackle a big chunk of your to-do list while you prepare for your move.

Arranging Furniture Awkwardly 

In addition to making sure you pick out the best pieces of furniture for a room, you also want to make sure you arrange the pieces naturally. While you may think placing a large sofa diagonally might make a room look bigger, the awkward display is actually more likely to confuse buyers than make them appreciate the size of the room.

As a general rule, allow the shape of the room to help you decide where to place each piece of furniture. Use the walls as guides, placing pieces parallel or perpendicular to them. For more ideas on how to arrange your furniture to best showcase your space, and more tips to make your home ready for sale, check out this playbook for selling your home.

Not Taking Photography Into Consideration

In this digital era, it has never been more important to think about how your home will appear in photographs in addition to how it will look to people who come by for tours. By not taking into account how your home staging will look in pictures, you could end up losing out on buyers before they ever set foot in your property. 

Before touring potential properties, most prospective buyers begin their house-hunting journey by looking at online listings. That means your home’s photos can make or break the first impression a buyer has.
Take a look at other listings online for ideas on how you can stage a home that will photograph well and catch the attention of people browsing real estate websites.

About Thomas O'Shaughnessy

Comments

  1. Thank you so much Thomas for sharing this. I have made some mistakes myself. 😉

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