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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Staging a Home

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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Staging a Home


There is so much uncertainty revolving around the real estate market and how quickly your home will sell. With so many conflicting opinions about every aspect of a home sale, one piece of advice always stands out to take the time to stage your home to get the most and sell the fastest. This allows you to show off the best parts of the home and highlight all of the special features. 

How to stage a home is a complicated question because every space is different and there is no one size fits all method for the best results. It takes an individual look at each room in your home to determine how best to display it for potential buyers. 

But there are things you should definitely avoid no matter what your home looks like, and we have created a list to help you out! Here are the top ten staging mistakes you should avoid before listing your home on the market! 

1. Failing to Deep Clean 

No matter how great your staging skills are, if you do not start with a clean foundation, none of it will be worth it. Dust, dirt, and grime are the only things potential buyers will see if no cleaning is done ahead of time. 

Those who are walking through the home are looking first and foremost to see that the home was well taken care of. No one wants to invest in a home that likely has a lot of problems, which seems much more likely when the house seems neglected. Showing that you care for your home by doing a deep clean will go a long way towards convincing buyers of its worth. 

Make sure you keep the house in tip-top shape for all of your showings! 

2. Leaving all the Clutter 

Nothing gives a home a cleaner, fresher feeling than when it is cleared of all the extra junk and clutter. It is almost like the house will breathe a big sigh of relief. 

If you do nothing else before selling a home, make sure you declutter each of the spaces. 

This opens up the space and allows potential buyers to really see what is being offered. They can see the size and scale of the room much better. Fewer distractions also help those seeing the home to envision what it would be like if their family lived there. 

Taking the time to declutter now also makes it much easier when you move and unpack at your new house too! 

3. Stuffing Closets Too Full 

While decluttering and clearing surfaces is a crucial aspect of staging a home, you must make sure not to stuff all the excess into spare rooms or closets. Potential buyers will be looking at every area of the home to see what kind of space is available. 

Overly-stuffed closets and storage spaces convey the message that the home is not big enough to fit the needs of the family. That is definitely not a selling point and can be the detriment of your overall success. Instead, get rid of the clutter or find a place to store it that is out of sight or, preferably, not at the house at all. 

Storage units are great for this type of situation. 

4. Keeping Too Much Furniture 

Most people recognize clutter in their homes and can easily get rid of the excess things hanging around that they do not really need. But often homeowners can forget to take a look at the bigger pieces in their homes and see what is cluttering up the spaces. 

This is especially true when someone has lived in a home for an extended period of time. We get so used to the way our home functions for our family and the furniture pieces we have that we can find it difficult to imagine different setups or ways the home could be laid out. 

Take a good, critical look at your space and see if there is any furniture you could remove to make it bigger or more efficient. This is also a great time to bring in an outside eye to get an unbiased opinion. 

5. Overlooking Personal Touches 

When working on the interior design of your home, it is the personal touches that often take the overall look to the next level. These unique pieces bring meaning and the feeling of home to a house but many experts suggest taking them out when staging. 

As potential buyers walks through your home, you want them to envision themselves living in the space. Having your family photos and memorabilia displayed can make that task more difficult for them. Removing these helps to open up the imagination, so they can more fully see themselves living and making memories there. 

6. Covering Natural Light Sources 

One of the most important things buyers look for in a home is the amount of natural light that is available. Most people want their homes to be full of bright, happy light from the outdoors. 

You do your home a huge injustice when you cover up those light sources by blocking windows or keeping the curtains closed. Increasing the natural light in your home is the easiest part of staging a home but makes such a big difference. The space will automatically feel bigger, brighter, and cleaner when it is well-lit. 

Many also suggest having all the light sources on to be able to fully see what the space is going to look like. 

7. Leaving Repairs Undone 

For some buyers, a house full of projects is an exciting prospect. They like the idea of taking something that needs a lot of work and turning it into a masterpiece. 

But those types of buyers are not the majority and chances are those are not the buyers you are going to be attracting. 

Instead, it is important to make sure all of the minor and major repairs are done before listing. This way the home looks well put together and taken care of. The buyer will be pleased to see they will not have a year's worth of projects on their hands and will be more likely to make a good offer. 

8. Forgetting Curb Appeal 

It is easy to get caught up in staging a home on the inside and making sure everything looks perfect from that perspective. So much so that many homeowners neglect to take care of the curb appeal and miss out on a big opportunity. 

The outside of the home is the first thing the potential buyers are going to see and is the foundation of their opinion of the house. 

When you take the time to do some cleaning, pruning, and maintenance on the yard it makes a huge difference. Depending on the time of year, it is a good idea to add some fresh greenery and flowers to the landscaping to add another touch of beauty to the home. All of the small touches will make the buyer more and more interested in the home. 

9. Taking Poor Pictures

So much of searching for a home takes place online these days. It is highly likely that your potential buyer will have seen your home in pictures before they ever step inside. 

For that reason, it is crucial to make sure you stage your home in a way that the positive aspects can be fully captured in pictures. 

Beyond the staging elements of the task, it is key that the pictures be of the highest quality possible with a clear and bright finish. This will draw them in to want to come and see the place in person. Adding a virtual home tour is also helpful to increase the excitement and interest in your listing. 

10. Doing Too Much  

There are so many things you can do to help your odds when selling a home but there is also such a thing as doing too much. The goal should be to find the balance in home staging to where the house is on display but also still feels like a place you could enjoy living. 

Avoid the major mistake of making the home feel too cold and museum-like, this can be a major turnoff for buyers. 

It can be tricky to find the right balance, so try to view your home from an outside perspective and remember what drew you to it in the first place. Highlight those things that come to mind and then leave the rest! 

How to Stage a Home for a Great Sale 

The goal of every homeowner who puts their house up for sale is to sell it as quickly as possible for as much money as possible. A huge factor in getting that desired result is staging a home to make it the most appealing. 

Following these rules for how to stage a home can help you do just that. You will be amazed at how beautiful your home looks and the benefits you will see as you move through the selling process. Homeowners that put in a little effort upfront see it paid back to them tenfold in the end. 

If you are interested in learning more about how to have the best home sale possible, find an agent today!