8 Shockingly Bad Staging Decisions (And What to Do About Them)

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.02.30 PM So you are ready to sell your home. You have met with your listing agent and she suggested ‘staging’ your home. “What? Why do I need to stage my home? My friends and neighbors have told me my home is perfect! I love my home just the way it is!”

Once you decide to sell your home, you need to change your mindset. You don’t want buyers to think of the house as ‘your ‘ home; rather, you want them to see it as ‘their’ home.

Here are 8 of the biggest staging sins sellers make and how to avoid these pitfalls before it costs you a sale.

1 – Collection Overload

It is very difficult for almost any collection to look orderly and neutral, two high-level aims of home staging. Unless you have an attractive, high-end built-in cases to house the collections even the coolest collection can come off as a pile of space-consuming clutter. The point is to have buyers look at your home, not your collection.

2 – Seller’s Staging

The seller that can see their home objectively is rare. Most of us (yes, even agents selling their own homes) need external or professional input. Getting external input can be objective when it comes to a home being over-full, cluttered and furniture too plentiful. As a pet owner, I know how much I love my dog but I can’t assume other will love her. The same goes for cat owners.

I have shown more homes with cats not crated, wondering around, and jumping on counters. The part I love is when I am in charge of not letting the cat get outside! As agents, we are trying to sell your home, not watch your pet.

3 – Failure to Edit

As the New York Times recently put it, “the job of stagers is to reverse the accumulated creep of hundreds of small and misguided design decisions, and to erase any hints of the messiness of daily life.”  Just because you love the area rug in your Family Room doesn’t mean is has the widest buyer appeal. Once you remove clutter and get outside advice, look at your home again and see if there is anything else that can be put away.

4 – Silly scenarios

I have seen so many rooms in homes where the sellers decided to use a beach theme for the decor. In most cases, sellers tend to overdue the theme and the end result is a bit ‘crazy’. You may have loved your trip to Bermuda so much that you want to duplicate the look. The point is your home is not in Bermuda!

5 – The ‘lived-in’ look

Homes that are the cleanest and neatest, sell the fastest. Yes, it is a lot of work but in the end, well worth it. Buyers LOVE homes that are clean and neat. Nothing is a faster turn-off than when a buyer opens a kitchen cabinet and things are ‘stuffed’ inside.

6 – Closet cramming

Out of sight is not out of mind. Home buyers today are desperate for storage space and will undoubtedly open those same, crammed-tight doors in an effort to evaluate how the home ranks for storage.

7 – Stage for the Senses

A house that smells like pet mayhem or smoke is a tough house to sell, no matter how beautifully it is staged. Unfortunately, smells are very easy to get acclimated to, when you live with them. Buyers, though, will detect them the second they walk in—and the moment they do is the moment we in the business call “turn-off time.”

8 – Not to Stage

Believe it or not, many sellers choose not to stage. This is a particular tragedy in cases where the owners could have painted, spruced, moved loads of things out and a few newer things in and made much, much more money on their homes.


Source: Tara-Nicholle Nelson


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