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Is Your Staging Sabotaging Your Sale? 10 Mistakes to Fix

A couple touring a house with a realtor

If you’re ready to downsize to a senior living community, but it’s been years or even decades since you sold a house, you may wonder if there’s anything you can do to get the highest price possible. More and more, getting good results comes down to home staging. With most potential buyers reviewing listing photos online before deciding which houses to see in person, knowing how to stage a home can make a difference it the amount of traffic your home gets.

Benefits of Staging Your House

If you’re still not sure if taking the time to stage your home is worth it, remember it’s the buyer, not the seller, who the home has to appeal to. Here are some of the benefits of home staging:

  • A staged home makes it easier for buyers to recognize when a house meets their expectations and for them to visualize your property as their future home.
  • Staging can increase the value of a home by 1% to 5% compared to homes that aren’t staged.
  • Staged homes tend to sell faster.

Home Staging Tips

Knowing what rooms are important (living room, primary bedroom, kitchen and dining room) allows you to prioritize specific areas to stage for the biggest impact. Here are the staging-related tasks you should focus on:

  • De-clutter: Getting rid of clutter opens up the space and makes it look bigger and more appealing. Box up everything you don’t need on a day-to-day basis — seasonal items, papers and most of your home décor.
  • De-personalize: The goal here is to create a blank canvas so the buyer can picture themselves living here. Put away family photos and any other overtly personal items.
  • Deep clean: Cleaning is essential to staging since it goes with the goal of making a positive first impression.
  • Small repairs: Touching up paint and a bit of spackling and caulking should be done during the staging process. These little fixes are quick and cheap and can be glaring to buyers if they’re not done.

Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Staging your home is not the same as interior decorating. Interior decorating strives for specific styles whereas home staging means giving the home just enough personality without pigeonholing it into a specific style or look.

  1. Being too bland: While trying to appeal to a wide variety of tastes, you may opt for neutral walls and furniture. However, it’s easy to go too far and end up with a boring space. A general rule of thumb is to leave the furniture neutral and bring in color with the rugs, pillows and throw blankets.
  2. Old paint: Apply a fresh coat of paint when getting the house ready to sell. Also, check your ceiling to see if it needs a fresh coat of white.
  3. Dark rooms: Buyers love “bright and airy,” so having lots of lighting is key. Take down heavy or dark-colored window treatments and add a light source in any space where you have fewer than four lights including lamps, recessed lights and sconces.
  4. Oversized furniture: Even if you love your oversized couch and loungers, if they’re too big, it will make your room look smaller.
  5. Neglecting your curb appeal: When your yard is freshly mowed and edged, it shows you’re taking care of your house. Remember basic lawn maintenance and pull weeds. You may also want to set up a bistro table and chairs with a cute centerpiece, use string lights to define cozy sitting areas and top potted plants with cedar bark.
  6. Forgetting photos drive viewings: It might be tempting to only focus on how your home looks in person, but you should also consider how it comes across in photos.
  7. Not defining living spaces: Open floor plans can be tricky to decorate, and a bare expanse of floor with nothing to delineate specific spaces makes the furniture feel like it’s floating. Area rugs help define and ground different areas.
  8. Forgetting your audience: Is your buyer most likely to be a young family? A single professional? Empty nesters? You want buyers to see your place as somewhere that fits their lifestyle, so give some thought to who might be most likely to buy your home.
  9. Overstuffed closets: Storage is a top priority for potential buyers, so even if your home has plenty of storage, jam packed closets will make it seem like storage is limited.
  10. Not clearing the air: One of the first things potential buyers will notice when they walk in is the way a home smells. Remove odiferous items from the kitchen and bath (strong spices, foods, toiletries) and replace them with warm and inviting alternatives. Don’t try to cover up the smell with a strong-smelling candle or air freshener.

Ready to Start Your Next Adventure?

While deciding to move and selling your home can feel overwhelming at times, knowing you have something exciting ahead of you can help make it more manageable. Check out our floor plans and find the next home of your dreams. See something you like? Use our Community Assistant chat feature or contact us here to schedule a visit.