10 Biggest Home Staging Mistakes

Stew Broward
Max 6min read
10 Biggest Home Staging Mistakes
Stew Broward
Head of PR
It’s been proven that home staging is an effective strategy to sell a property fast and above the asking price. But do you also know that innocent-looking staging mistakes can cost you a sale? As much as we want to tell you the best home staging tips, we also deem it important to tell you what NOT to do when prepping your home for potential buyers.
In this post, we’ll discuss common mistakes when staging a house, how to avoid them, and why it’s best to work with professionals. Keep reading to see if you have any of these mistakes in your home!

What should you not do when staging a house?

Staging a home to sell means your goal is to please buyers – not yourself. On that note, you should be careful of the following mistakes that can easily turn off a buyer:

1.  Leaving family photos on display

This may seem too plain-spoken, but putting up your family photos during showings won’t do your home selling any good. We don’t want you to be profiled personally, religiously, or politically because it could cause buyers to turn down the property.
This is also the same reason why depersonalization is a crucial aspect of our staging process. When staging your house to sell, we replace family photos with artwork pieces that are more neutral to the taste of prospective buyers.
Don’t get us wrong – you have a beautiful family. However, it will be hard for buyers to picture their own families in your home if memories of yours still linger around.
Aside from photos, we suggest removing other personal items, such as books on sensitive topics, memorabilia, political items, medications, and so on.

2.  Leaving signs of your furry friend

Sure, you love your pets, but not all buyers will have the same feeling towards your furry friend. And practically speaking, some people are simply allergic to cats, dogs, or other domesticated animals.
When staging and selling your home, we always suggest putting away litter boxes, toys, bowls, dog beds, leashes, and anything else that belongs to your pet. At the same time, you’d have to deep-clean away accumulated fur all over your home. 
Unless you’re sure that your target market is looking for a pet-friendly home, you’d want to err on the side of caution. Besides, some buyers may see it as a chance to nitpick your property and ask for a lower price.

3.  Using the garage as a dumpsite

This is one of our greatest icks whenever we’re called for staging only to find that our client has used the garage as a dump zone. Always remember that the garage is still part of your home, and buyers will definitely take a look at it.
If you have stuff that you want to put away, we suggest renting a storage unit instead. This way, you can also stage your garage to make it another asset in your home selling process.
Take note that many homebuyers consider the garage as a major selling point. If you have a clean garage with an updated door, you may actually use it to bump up the asking price a little bit.

4.  Hiding damages

Take note that staging a house is about boosting its appeal, not hiding that huge hole on your wall or the damage on your floorboards.
If you need minor repairs on your home, don’t hesitate to call our home staging company. At HolmeStage, we have a partner handyman who will provide the repairs that you need, so you only have to call one provider for all your staging needs.
After all, it’s never a good idea to mislead or trick buyers. This will come back to bite you, either by declining the sale or negotiating a much lower price.

5.  Not staging for the photos

Before potential buyers schedule a showing, they would likely browse your online listing first. Here, you need to post the best photos of your home to attract as many views and requests.
In that case, you have to ensure that the staging is done with professional photography in mind. This includes furniture angles, lighting placement, and so on.
Instead of stressing with the details, you can simply call HolmeStage to do everything. We will provide full-service staging as well as professional photography to boost your marketing efforts.

6.  Wrong choice of paint color

If you’re planning to get a new paint job for your home, the choice of color is extremely crucial. Pick the wrong one and you’ll ruin the appeal of your property.
For this, it’s important that you know about color psychology. Basically, every color has a subliminal impact on a person’s emotions and how he perceives a space.
As our rule of thumb, we always stick to neutral colors. This appeals to a wide range of potential buyers while giving them a clean canvas to imagine their own belongings in your home.
For example, beige, white, and gray are safe options. Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of bright hues on certain areas to create contrast.

7.  Going overboard with decorations

Many of our clients tend to get overexcited over tiny knick-knacks that they end up over-decorating the place. Overall, there’s nothing about adding your personal touch to your home, but make sure that you don’t overload the space.
You should keep it simple and minimalist. This way, potential buyers won’t be distracted when checking your home. Overall, if a certain piece will not serve a purpose, it’s best that we remove that stuff.
For example, an piece of artwork or two is enough to liven up bare walls. However, too many and your home may start to look like an art gallery. This could make it hard for buyers to picture their own décor on your home.

8.  Not paying to your home’s scent

Don’t let your home fail the sniff test! Sometimes, we get too caught up in the visuals that we tend to forget about one important thing: how our home smells.
Take note that buyers only take a few seconds to make an impression of your home. In that very short time, the last thing you want them to get is an off-putting odor.
In our experience, many home buyers tend to get concerned when a property has a strong odor. It makes them think that there’s something wrong in it, especially if the odor is musty and resembles that of mold.
With that, we always recommend cleaning and airing out your home to remove any bad smells. You can also get plug-in diffusers to give your home a refreshing whiff.

9.  Poor lighting

Lighting can be a deal-breaker, no matter how well-staged your home is. You should always plan your home’s lighting when staging a room to ensure that it will highlight your property’s best features.
Many property buyers prefer a home that allows a good amount of natural light. Also, it’s important to keep your home well-lit even if the curtains or blinds are drawn.
For this, we can place extra lamps or dimmable bulbs in your home to make it look cozier. But if you have outdated lights, we may suggest having them replaced.
We suggest testing your home’s lighting to see if it’s comfortable if you walk in from the outside on a sunny day. If you have to squint or take a minute to adjust your vision, then you have some work to do.

10. Overlooking how the entryway looks

When staging a home, many owners tend to put the entryway on the back burner. While it’s just a small space, it’s also the first thing that potential buyers will see when they set foot on your home.
It’s very important to stage your foyer or entryway with the same attention you’ll give bigger rooms in your home. Make sure it has good lighting so buyers won’t have a hard time adjusting to the outdoor setting.
More staging examples including placing an area rug, a console table, a huge wall mirror, and a shoe rack in there to balance style and functionality.
However, avoid overcrowding the entryway too much – you don’t want buyers to be overwhelmed even before they see your entire house.

Don’t let staging mistakes cost you a sale. Let our home stagers help!

Home staging can help you sell fast if done right. If you’re worried about making any of the mistakes we discussed above, our home staging team is here to help.
For 11+ years, we’ve staged countless homes in the Greater LA area. Some of the properties we staged only took 15, 10, or only 5 days to get sold – mostly thousands above the asking price!
Instead of stressing yourself if you’re doing staging right, you can consider hiring a professional like our team. We offer full and partial staging services, and we can also work on occupied or vacant homes for your convenience.
Ready to attract more potential buyers for your home? Contact us at HolmeStage today to get started!
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