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Selling a House

Common Home Staging Mistakes Even Realtors Make

You are a realtor, not a home stager. So, running into a few common home staging mistakes is bound to happen, but with practice your listings will shine.

Having your client’s home properly staged should be a top priority of yours, but many clients will not be able to afford an independent home stager. Therefore, being able to provide guidance on how to best execute a flawless staging will be valuable to your clients. You are not a professional home stager though, so running into a few common home staging mistakes is bound to happen.

A good staging could mean the difference between spending countless months on the MLS, and a speedy sale. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in the home with their family, and you can’t count on them having a good imagination. So, you have to help complete a staging job that allows as many buyers as possible to have the visionary experience they are all searching for. 

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Mistake #1: Staging With Furniture That is too Large

Everyone values open space in their home. So, ensuring that buyers see the open space your client’s home offers is crucial. (Even if they don’t have much of it.) Many agents run into a common home staging mistake when they fail to advise their client to ditch their large comfy furniture for smaller pieces. 

Large pieces, like sectionals, are great for hanging out with the family, but not for selling a house. They take up a significant amount of visual space, which can be very off putting to buyers. You never want one piece to feel like it is dominating the room. So, it is best to replace these items with smaller pieces that have clean lines, and really highlight the space available in a room. 

In addition to the furniture fitting the room size wise, you also want the specific placement of the furniture to complement the room. Consider the following points when placing furniture:

  • Start with a rug in the center of the room to define the space, and play with different arrangements.
  • Be aware of where you will be taking pictures of the room to post, and make sure the furniture doesn’t look overpowering.
  • Make sure the flow of an open house won’t be disrupted by large pieces. Allow for walkways and plenty of space to maneuver around.

Mistake #2: Not Knowing Your Audience 

When presenting anything you have to know, and cater to your audience. Based on the neighborhood, community, price of the home, and features inside of it, you should be able to come up with a decent estimate of who would be attracted to the home. Staging a home to please senior citizens vs. millennials would lend to very different outcomes. 

You obviously can’t predict the future, and won’t know for sure who will buy your clients home, but staging to a target audience will unify the staging, and be sure to catch the attention of many buyers interested in viewing the home. 

It is important to note that every target audience loves cleanliness though. You will want to make sure the home is cleaned to perfection before taking photos. If you are having an open house, cleaning is even more important. That cleaning product smell is something that you want at your open house. Everyone loves a freshly cleaned home, and no one loves a dirty, dusty one. 

Mistake #3: Having too Much Beige 

Don’t get us wrong you want to go the route of primarily neutral colors when staging a home, but there is such a thing as overdoing it. If you go too far with the neutral colors the home can easily look bland, sterile, and lack personality. Which is not the impression you want buyers to get when they walk into your client’s home. 

Here are a couple of ideas to spice up the staging of your client’s home:

  • Add an accent wall. Hopefully your clients have time to give their home a fresh coat of paint anyway, so adding an accent wall wouldn’t be too difficult. Think contrast when adding this wall. What would really make the home pop? A dark grey, or navy would be great, or even removable graphics or wallpaper could do wonders for your listing.
  • Add a few accent pillows. These pillows shouldn’t be too personal, extravagant, or numerous, but a couple pillows that add a pop of color to a room helps tie everything together. 

Yes, you want to appeal to as many people as possible, so you may think all neutral colors are the way to go, but that is definitely a common home staging mistake you want to avoid. 

Mistake #4: Having “Gendered” Rooms 

Your client may have a little girl with a pink, unicorn themed room. What if a serious potential buyer has a little boy though? They may have a hard time dreaming about the house, due to the very girly room. Or maybe a buyer doesn’t have children at all. You wouldn’t want to present a room that is excessively staged like a child’s room. When staging children’s rooms it is best to go with neutral tones, a stuffed animal here or there, and then a couple of pillows or blankets for a pop of color. 

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Mistake #5: Not Obtaining Perfect Lighting 

Any photographer knows that lighting can make all the difference. Well that applies to your listing too. When taking pictures for your listing, or preparing for an open house you will want to make sure the lighting highlights all the great qualities of the home, instead of taking away from them. To help you achieve that perfect lighting, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure all drapes open. Letting natural light in is a must when trying to show off the beauty of a home.
  • Utilize lamps. Floor lamps or table lamps are great ways to add warm light exactly where you need it. They are also a nice decorative piece that can fill space, and pull a room together.
  • Use the same bulbs all throughout the house. Using the same bulbs in every room creates consistency. Different bulbs giving off different lighting, and intensities can disturb the flow of the house and distract buyers.

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