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What You Shouldn’t Do When Staging Your Home to Sell (And Small Things You Should)

What You Shouldn’t Do When Staging Your Home To Sell (And Small Things You Should)

Whether you’re trying to sell in order to upsize into a bigger home for your growing family or downsizing ahead of retirement, it is in your best interest to know what you should and should not do when staging your home to sell.

Let’s face it, buyers are more demanding than ever before and a property that is staged correctly will fetch the desired sale in a shorter timeframe.

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.

Homes that are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts

The need to have home staging could not be clearer. Unfortunately, you may not exactly be an expert when it comes to staging your home which is completely understandable

Here’s what you need to know about the dos, and perhaps, more importantly, the don’ts of preparing your home for house hunters.

Staging A Home To Sell – The Don’ts

retro-style-modern-home

Before worrying too much about the things you should do to prepare your home for a quick and profitable sale, you must first learn to appreciate the common pitfalls. After all, prospective buyers are actively looking for reasons to avoid purchasing your property and will act accordingly if your home is presented in a way that highlights them.

Here are 8 issues you should try to avoid.

#1. Don’t Be Too Personal

We talked about this quite a bit about this in our Home Staging Tips From the Pros post, but it is extremely important so we are going to discuss it briefly again!

When you first settle in your home, you naturally want to add your personal style to the rooms. Sadly, those personal touches can significantly reduce the appeal of the property, especially when you opt for interior design choices that are a little out of the box.

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good statement piece! But you want people to feel as if your home is a neutral space where they can picture themselves living. Reverting back to a palette that focuses on soft, warm color schemes can work wonders for the property’s universal attraction.

neutral-soft-color-palette

This doesn’t mean that the look of your home has to be boring and make everything gray (see above). You can add interest with on-trend throw pillows that complement the style of your home and appeal to buyers – which brings us to our next don’t.

#2. Don’t Lose All Character

small-home-decor-elements

While you will probably wish to avoid controversial design choices and want to use only neutrals, you don’t want your home to seem devoid of all personality. After all, buyers are likely to view multiple properties in a relatively short span of time.

If your home isn’t staged to stand out from the crowd, many people will forget about it as soon as they leave.

Keep a little character by adding small unique decor pieces or art – just make sure that they add and don’t overwhelm the space. A little contrast and a touch of kitsch can make the home memorable. Some things you can add might be:

  • Throw pillows in textured fabrics
  • Unique coffee table books or decor like you see above
  • An interesting piece of art that complements the space
  • Slightly quirky table settings
  • Small sculptures or vases that add a little something extra

When homebuyers are thinking about the home, there’s a far better chance that it’ll lead to a sale. As with many aspects of staging the property for sale, striking the right balance is key.

#3. Avoid Overcrowding

cluttered-garage

Showing off the fact that your property is big enough to hold an array of items may seem like a good way to make it feel bigger.

However, in reality, it results in a confusing atmosphere that can overwhelm the space and make it feel smaller.

Avoid overcrowding and the rooms give the appearance of more floor space, which subsequently encourages the potential homebuyer to consider the ways that they would utilize the space, which means they’ll picture themselves living here.

It’s not just about the rooms though. You may think it is a good solution to put all of the things you have collected over the years into the garage or closet because who cares about what a garage looks like?

The reality is that cluttered storage spaces will also discourage people from buying the property as it makes it seem as though the space there is limited.

Many homeowners are guilty of hanging onto unnecessary items that they don’t use, so use this opportunity to declutter. Aside from aiding your hopes of a sale, it’ll prevent the need to pack and move them to your next home. If you aren’t ready to part with your stuff, you can always store it until you move into your new home!

#4. Don’t Make it Seem Too Cavernous

large-room-in-home

We know we seem like we are full of contradictions right now, but hear us out. Having an overcrowded space is problematic when you want to sell your home, but having huge spaces with very little in them can come off as cold and unwelcoming.

You want to create the illusion of space and it can be very tempting to opt for smaller items including compact furniture and house decorations to achieve this.

Unfortunately, this can look aesthetically unpleasing. If you are blessed with a large room, it won’t need any extra “tricks” to showcase the space. When a buyer moves in, they’ll want to utilize the available space in the most efficient manner. If your home doesn’t already do this, it will set the wrong impression.

Make sure the furniture and decor you use to stage your home fits the scale of the rooms. This is not very easy to achieve and can be costly if you don’t know the business, so unless you want to show an empty home, we suggest consulting with a professional who knows the ins and outs of staging and marketing real estate.

#5 Don’t Use Fake Fauna or Fruit

fake-fruit-tacky-bowl

When you look around a lot of brand new homes, most of the extra things you see that add “aesthetic” are fake.

Fake fruit bowls, fake plants, and fake flowers are all commonplace. While this isn’t going to bring any negative thoughts when browsing homes that were just built or model homes, replicating it in the home is never a wise move.

They give the impression that the house hasn’t been lived in, which consequently raises doubts as to whether it’s suited for family life.

They give the impression that the house hasn’t been lived in

Homebuyers likely know that a property has been staged. Therefore, it’s important to show them that the atmosphere they see is viable in their daily lives.

It may feel like a very small detail, but it’s one that can give the impression that they are looking at an actual home rather than a model home.

#6. Don’t Close the Doors

By now, it should be relatively clear that the small details can make the biggest impact on a potential homebuyer’s opinion of the property.

Closed doors make the property seem uninviting and may also stop natural light from reaching some areas and they may wonder what you are trying to hide.

You should also respect the fact that some people will either assume that the door leads to a cupboard or feel too shy to investigate. It’s not uncommon for people to miss out on basements, attics, and other spaces as a result of the closed doors.

To create an open and inviting space that enables people to explore the entire property, keep all doors open and be sure to check that all walkways are unobstructed.

#8. Don’t Ignore Curb Appeal

large-beautiful-home-exterior

A potential buyer will start to form opinions of your property as soon as they drive up to it or see the listing online. In truth, we’ve all had viewings where we’ve decided against a purchase before we’ve even stepped inside the door.

You cannot afford to let your home fall victim to this and must invest in the external appeal of the property.

Simple additions like a few plants or a door knocker can change the entire vibe of the property while trimming bushes and adding new gravel to the driveway can be equally as influential.

When those looking at your home have a great impression before they’ve stepped inside, they will be far more likely to take a positive outlook on the interior elements too. Conversely, a bad first impression may ruin everything.

The Dos

staged-monochromatic-home

While many of the staging don’ts will simultaneously guide you towards making the right moves. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to go the extra mile by implementing a number of additional changes. Here are some of the simple staging ideas that will serve you well.

1. Do Let in That Natural Light

As already mentioned, prospective buyers need to see that there is space to work with. In addition to using light/warm color schemes, you should also aim to embrace the natural light in your home.

Open up those blinds and curtains and get as much natural light flowing through your space as possible.

The sunlight not only will get buyers excited, it naturally puts them in a more positive mood. Although this might not make them happy enough to necessarily buy, it can’t hurt to have a little extra positivity while they look from room to room.

2. Prioritize The Right Rooms

Most homeowners accept that they will need to complete some upgrades and make changes after they move in. However, they won’t consider buying a property that isn’t liveable.

Focus on making important upgrades like repainting, filling small nail holes where your family pictures once hung etc. in the living spaces, kitchen, master bedroom, and bathrooms – in that order.

2. Do Add Little Extras

Everyone wants to live in a nice home, and the small things that enhance the atmosphere deserve your attention. A vase with fresh flowers and a fruit bowl with (real) fruit can seriously help. Meanwhile, discreet air fresheners ensure that the home also smells fantastic – we suggest sticking with clean linen scents.

You can also ask your real estate agent about setting out foot and drinks at open houses to help make buyers feel more at home and comfortable. It isn’t a weird ask, trust us. Your agent wants to sell your home just as quickly as you do!

3. Do Rearrange Furniture (if needed)

While the choice of furniture is vital, you must not overlook the impact of the layout. Create living spaces that encourage family conversations and ensure that there is a focal point in each room. It’s a simplistic idea, but the influence can be huge.

The Final Word

Staging a home is hard work, especially if you want the property to sell at the asking price. When you follow the right steps while and avoid the potential pitfalls, success is virtually assured. In turn, you should attract agreeable offers in next to no time!

Thinking of putting your home on the market?  Let us help you! Give us a call today!  You can reach our team at 913.521.8806 or click below to fill out our contact form!

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