Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid when Selling

Mar 22


First impressions are everything when selling a home, so it’s imperative your home is “show ready” when you list it for sale. Some sellers will hire a professional stager or decorator to help them with staging while others will go at it alone. If you are a DIYer and choose to go at it alone, there are several do’s and don’ts when it comes to staging. Below is my professional advice on how to avoid horrible staging mistakes.

01 | Decorative Themes


An antique farmhouse or coastal rustic theme is not neutral and will not appeal to every home buyers. If you live in a beachy area or an equestrian community you may be able to get away with some subtle decorative themes, but don’t let seashells or horses take over the house. There is a solid line between tasteful decor and cheesy decor that looks more like clutter. As a seller it’s a must you need know the difference.

Tip: Try to keep your home as neutral as possible when it comes to paint, furnishings and decorations.

02 | Unsightly Furniture


If you have outdated or damaged furniture, your best option is to remove and replace it. Occasionally a slipcover may look good over a couch, but oftentimes slipcovers, blankets or an overabundance of pillows won’t help. They tend make the outdated or damaged furniture a bigger eyesore than it already is.

Tip: If you can’t afford to replace unsightly furniture, renting furniture may be an option. Another option is to visit consignment stores for gently used items, which can be much more affordable than brand new furniture.

03 | Area Rugs

Area rugs can ground a room and make it feel warm, inviting, and “complete.” Although  there is no need to have area rugs in every room, hallway, and doorway. When a plethora of rugs are throughout the home it will make a buyer think the seller is trying to hide something, either damaged flooring or foundation issues.

Tip: Use neutral area rugs if they add appeal to a room and remove dirty, matted, or smelly rugs.

04 | Pillows and Towels


No matter how many decorative towels you use in an outdated bedrooom or bathroom, you are not going to distract the buyer nor is it going to improve the appearance of the room. Having a few towels is acceptable, putting towels everywhere is not. The same goes for decorative pillows. Pillows on the sofa, pillows on the floor, pillows on the bed, pillows on the kitchen chairs, pillows, pillows, pillows. Just like towels having a few is acceptable, putting pillows everywhere is not.

Tip: Streamline pillows and towels throughout the home, the fewer the better and make sure they match the rest of the decor.

05 | Fake Plants

That fake ivy you have hanging in the bathroom is not appealing nor is the dusty fake plants sitting on top of your kitchen cabinets, it looks out of place and certainly is not going to help sell your home.

Tip: Add real flowers or plants tastefully throughout the home. Occasionally a really nice silk plant may be a nice addition and add appeal, but not always.

06 | Empty Bags & Boxes


Placing an empty brand name bags and box in a vacant walk-in closet is out of place and borderline tacky. Why would someone leave a Gucci box in an empty closet? This is a “staging” tactic I have never understood.

Tip: Empty boxes should not be used as focal points for staging. Use clothes and shoes you have decided to donate when cleaning out your closet. This makes the space look believable and spacious. 

Final Thoughts

Properly staging a home isn’t always easy. Oftentimes, it’s best to bring in a professional stager to ensure your home looks its best. Yes, hiring a stager costs money, but depending on your home and the real estate market conditions it could payoff.

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