5 Staging Mistakes That Turn Buyers Away

When a home is staged well, it can sell in a heartbeat. According to the Real Estate Staging Institute, in fact, a staged home sells 70% times faster than home that are not staged.

But what about homes that are staged poorly?

Here are 5 staging mistakes that can be vastly detrimental to your home sale, according to the HomeFinder blog.

1. No illusion of space.

One of the number one priorities of staging is to demonstrate (or augment) space in a room. When homeowners are looking for a new place, most often having a spacious living environment is one of the top priorities.

If your staging does not compliment this ideal, despite the design factor of the choices, it could rob you of potential clients.

What robs a room of space? Scale is the biggest thing, according to Associate Designer Dawn Alpern of Interior Transformation, Inc.

Furniture, art, and accessories that are not scaled correctly for a room is a big mistake. These items need to fit the room. It doesn’t work if they are too big or too small.

Egypt Sherrod of HGTV's Property Virgins elaborates:

Closets should be half full, and buyers should be able to see the bottom of the closet. If they see a jam-packed closet, they will think it’s too small for them. Bedrooms should contain only a bed, nightstand and dresser. In the master bedroom, swap out the king-size bed for a queen-size bed to create more space. Throughout the house, pull furniture two or three inches out from the walls and allow the corners of a room to be visible.

2. It smells.

If your house smells of cats, dogs, exotic foods, excessive room freshener or cleaning supplies, you could easily be deterring some prospective homeowners.

No matter how updated your kitchen or how beautifully you have staged the furniture in the house, if a smell predominates, your buyers will notice little else. Think of walking into a space where a cinnamon candle scent mixes with the smell of wet dog!

Have a professional cleaning company come in to heartily scrub the walls, floors, carpets, windows and more to ensure the place is clean both to the eyes and nose.

3. Lack of editing.

When it comes to staging, less is more. When personal items or clutter is left untouched during the staging process, it can create a real problem down the line.

As a rule of thumb, you should remove everything that you possibly can which would allow the buyer to picture the current owners (you) living there. This means no extravagant art, family photos, or magenta paint on the walls.

In this same vein, if your room is over decorated, it can be confusing for buyers. If you have, say, more than one focal point in a room, it can overwhelm the space. Settle for one focal point per room (a headboard in the bedroom, the fireplace in the living room) to keep things neat and expansive to the eye.

Once your home is on the market, you've turned it over to the market. Don't think of it as your home, as much as that's possible, you're trying to move on, think of it as your product.  Start packing ahead of time, putting non-essentials into boxes, and moving them out of the home (into storage or to a very gracious neighbor or family member.)

4. Obstructed light.

Light is an essential part of any home sale.

Have some beautiful windows? Open the curtains entirely, and remove unneeded blinds.  Clean, or have cleaned, the windows.  Dirty windows obstruct a surprisingly high percentage of the light.  In some cases you may consider removing the screen as well to bring in more light. 

Paint the walls a lighter color to augment the brightness of the space. Add a mirror adjacent to a window to amplify the natural light.

5. No walk-through.

Never forget to make a final trip (or two) through the space to ensure everything is in good working order. Squeaky cupboards, drawers that get stuck, or the water stain underneath your sink could all be concerns for prospective buyers as it would indicate that the home is not well cared for.

If something needs fixing, now is the time to take care of it. Don't leave minor repairs as something for prospective buyers to speculate about.

Looking for some help in staging your home? Unsure where to begin? Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call. We'll be happy to help!


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Chicago, IL 60614

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