11 Forgotten Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid
Homes are flooding the housing market, and you want your listing to outshine the competition. You probably are familiar with the essential basic preps for listing your home, boosting your curb appeal, decluttering, depersonalizing, and deep cleaning. However, while these tips are increasingly becoming common knowledge, how familiar are you with properly staging your home? A perfectly staged home makes your place pop in pictures, appeals to more potential buyers, masks wear and tear, and helps it sell faster for more! You don’t want to unknowingly make colossal mistakes! Luckily, we are here to discuss the home staging faux pas we always see. Even if you are not looking to sell anytime soon, these staging tips make entertaining and everyday life smoother and more enjoyable!
Let’s dive right into the most common home staging mistakes to avoid!
1. Too Much Pizzazz!
Your home is a unique expression of you and your family; we love that! However, you might want to remodel the room that looks like a tribute to the ’70s or put away the unique holiday ornament selection you have featured on the coffee table. And please consider painting over any chipped or shockingly vibrantly painted walls.
We love that you have added your own personal style, flair, and energy to your space. However, since you want to sell your space, opt for fresh coats of paint in neutral, welcoming beiges, tans, and off whites.
Pro Tip: When you go to paint, keep the color scheme consistent throughout your home. Every room does not need to match, but painting each room a drastically different color subtracts from the overall flow of your home.
2. Not Enough Pizzazz!
You’ve done it! You repainted every room in the house and color coordinated the art, carpet, and furniture to match! Maybe you specifically picked room colors to match each room’s current carpeting and furniture. I know we said to go neutral but don’t go too far to the neutral side. While you want to appeal to a wide variety of personal preferences and tastes, if everything’s “matchy-matchy,” you’ve gone too far in one direction. A matchy-matchy space will deplete the room’s energy, causing artwork and decor to faceplant in “meh.” You want to find the sweet spot of neutral but with personality. While buyers won’t know exactly why they don’t like the home, they’ll know something feels off. Excite your buyers with contrasts!
Pro Tip: A great rule of thumb is to keep things like wall color and couches neutral but add contrast through art and textiles like colorful throw pillows.
3. Follow The “3 Feet By Feet” Rule.
Keep surfaces in the 3 to 5-foot range, coffee tables, end tables, dining tables, etc., clear of clutter. Resist the urge to add candles and nicknacks to these surfaces and opt to remove tall vases as well. Yes, some of these elements might add flare, but whether a buyer is aware of it or not, placing items on these surfaces causes a visual interruption. The result is the room feels cluttered and smaller.
Pro Tip: Let buyers’ eyes flow freely in a diagonal across the room – don’t interrupt the visual flow!
4. There’s No Sign of Intelligent Life Anywhere
Of course, you want your home clean prior to showing it. However, you also want your space to feel lived in as well. You want to help buyers envision themselves in your space, and their lives unfold in each room they see.
Pro Tip: Give the throw pillows a quick karate chop, toss the throw over the couch instead of perfectly folding it, and hang a stylish coat or a brimmed hat on the entry hook. Maybe go a little crazy and even leave a pen on the “to-do” list by the desk.
5. Not Going Green
You want your home to feel lived in but not chaotic (see tip number 4). Plants bring a sense of vibrancy, life, and growth to a space. You don’t need to turn each room into a jungle, but a few spots of green in several rooms shows that there is life. Plants also add nice contrast and color to a space.
Pro Tip: Some find picking out plants for each room intimidating. If you lack a bit of green thumb knowledge, we have two ideas to help. In general, small orchids add a fun pop of color to bathrooms. They also make the bathroom feel welcoming and more luxurious. Succulents also offer an eye-catching dining table centerpiece requiring little care during the showing process.
6. Your Furniture Looks… Off
It can look trendy or unique to place your sofa or desk at a diagonal and while the thought behind the choice is spot-on, resist the urge to angle! Angling your furniture is one of the worst mistakes you can make when creating a visually appealing space. People often think it makes the room look bigger, but it just makes it feel off. Instead, keep your furniture in line with your walls!
Pro Tip: There is an exception to this rule. If your home has a room with odd angles, position your furniture accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to arrange your furniture so it aligns with the walls of a room.
7. All The Furniture Is Against The Walls
Yes, while you don’t want your furniture to be at diagonal angles, you also don’t want each piece pushed up against the wall. If you have a large room, the space looks smaller instead of bigger when every furniture item is up against a wall.
Pro Tip: Keep your furniture at complementing angles to the walls, but push the living room seating inward to the center of the living room. This helps create a conversation area.
8. That’s A Big Piece of Art
A large art centerpiece can make a beautiful statement and help a buyer connect with your space. However, if the scale isn’t correct, even the most breathtaking piece can throw off the feel of the room. You don’t want to hang pieces that are too small on large walls or pieces that are too large on small walls, as both these things will make the wall look smaller.
Pro Tip: When selecting artwork, shoot for pieces – either a single piece or multiple pieces – that take up anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of the wall space.
9. Empty Rooms
Some sellers love to leave empty rooms empty because it creates space for people to dream about what they might fill in each area. While we love the concept behind this strategy, it simply doesn’t work. Buyers like you to show them the room’s potential, not visualize the potential themselves. While you don’t need to fill the room with expensive furniture, try to find a few pieces that show the room’s possibilities.
Pro Tip: Hit a few garage sales or thrift stores or rummage through your garage to find a few furniture pieces and decor items for an empty space. In addition to showing a room’s potential, adding decor and furniture hides a room’s imperfections!
10. Little Things… Everywhere
Many homeowners love to place little things all over. But unfortunately, the end result is often a cluttered feeling. Some examples are an extensive collection of petite throw pillows on the couch, bookshelves filled with pictures and nicknacks, and coffee tables with coasters, centerpieces, and books. In general, fill your space with a few big items instead of a million small ones.
Pro Tip: In the living room, arrange the books by color to create a fun rainbow effect. Add a plant to one of the shelves and remove all the other extra items.
11. Keeping It Real
While proper staging is a wonderfully helpful tool, it won’t magically make a room’s imperfections disappear. Staging won’t hide structural problems, a burnt-out lightbulb, or cracked windows. Approach your staging process with a realistic mindset.
Pro Tip: Repair and revive the items that are easy to fix. Replace the burnt-out lightbulbs, repair the hole in the drywall, fix the broken cabinet handle, and paint the peeling front entryway door.
We hope you feel confident knowing what home staging mistakes to avoid and that you found these home staging tips helpful as you prepare to embark on your own selling journey. If you live in sunny Southwest Florida and need a team of experts to provide unparalleled knowledge, support, and guidance through your seller’s journey, look no further than the Westerfield Group! We pride ourselves on helping you get the best price for your home in no time. Call Jim Westerfield and learn how we can help you stage, list, and sell your home.
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