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7 Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

By now, you probably know all about home staging and how powerful it can be in selling your home faster and for more money. We offer lots of home staging tips on the right things to do, but what about the most common mistakes people make when trying to stage a home for sale?

It’s easy to assume there are certain home staging tips you can skip when it comes to your own home. They may seem unnecessary or frivolous, so you decide to overlook some of them. In reality, this can only hurt your chances of buyers connecting with your home. There are certain home staging mistakes, though, that can have the largest consequences on a property’s salability.

Here are 7 home staging mistakes you definitely want to avoid.

7 Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

1) Using bold, custom colors or wallpaper on the walls.

Experimenting with color and wallpaper can be a lot of fun as a homeowner. There are so many inspiring things you can do with it, but unfortunately, it has no place in a home that is on the market. Color and wallpaper are very taste-specific, so while you may think they will entice buyers, they can actually turn off buyers and make them feel like they have to invest a lot of money in undoing them before they can move in. It is best neutralize the walls with a nice neutral (beige or gray) so buyers can see past the design and imagine their own décor in its place.

2) Neglecting the clutter (or not decluttering enough).
Decluttering is one of the most important steps in staging a home for sale. It goes farther than just cleaning things up, though. What would be considered “decluttered” to a house one is living in is different from the level of decluttering that a home on the market requires to make the best possible impression on buyers. Go a step further and put away small appliances that are on the kitchen counters, hide toothbrushes and other toiletries in the bathroom, and thin out the décor on your bookshelves and entertainment center.

Items around the house should be as minimal as possible. This helps buyers stay focused on the home and not the items in it. It also makes each space feel larger and more open, so clean out as much as you can.

3) Personalizing the décor.
Just like personalizing the walls, the rest of the décor should follow the same guidelines. Part of owning a house is having the opportunity to put your own stamp on it. If the home you are selling is largely personalized by décor of a specific taste and style, most buyers will have trouble imagining their own décor in its place. While you may feel like buyers should see past all of that, the reality is, most of them won’t. It will affect how they feel while they are touring the house and in turn, affect their desire to make an offer. It’s best to give them a blank slate with simple, contemporary accents so their imaginations can run wild.

4) Keeping personal photographs and artwork out.
Family photos are some of the most distracting elements you can keep in a house that’s on the market. They remind buyers that the house they are walking through belongs to someone else and can even make many feel uncomfortable, like they are intruding on someone else’s space. This is the last thing you want them to be feeling. Put away family photographs and highly personalized artwork until you move into your next place.

5) Not doing a deep, thorough cleaning.
Just like decluttering, the kind of cleaning a house on the market needs is on a different level than everyday cleaning. Every inch of the home should be spotless and as close to looking brand new as possible. As homeowners, we come to overlook certain things, but buyers will be highly sensitive to a home’s cleanliness as they tour it. They will be looking for signs that the home has been well-maintained over the years.

We recommend hiring professionals to do a deep, thorough cleaning before listing. Then, be sure to maintain it every day, especially if you have kids and/or pets living there.

6) Over-staging the house.
Home staging can help your home appeal to more buyers and, consequently, get it sold faster and for more money. But the wrong home staging can have the opposite effect. It is possible to over-stage a house. If you put out too many decorative pieces, it can start to look cluttered rather than staged. It’s important to be tasteful with your choices and not go overboard with the décor.

7) Blocking views and architectural elements.
Something we see all too often is furniture blocking a home’s best selling features. Beautiful views and architectural elements can be big draws for buyers ─ so if you hide them, you could potentially be missing out on a sale! One of the worst offenders is covering up a fireplace. Fireplaces add charm to a home and are something a lot of home buyers would love to have, so they should be the focal point of a space.

The same goes for a view. If a window shows a nice view of the backyard or something even more enticing, like a lake or ocean, then you should definitely be making an effort to draw a buyer’s eye to the window rather than away from it.

Be sure to avoid these 7 common home staging mistakes to give your home the best possible chance at impressing buyers. Want more home staging tips? Check out our free home staging webinar to go more in-depth!

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