Home Staging Don’ts and Simple Ways to Avoid Them

First of all, you’re probably asking yourself, just what are home staging don’ts? Actually I came up with this idea years ago when I would see people time and time again making the same mistakes when trying to sell their homes. I think the original idea came from a column in Glamour Magazine back in the day. They would have fashion do’s and don’ts and I applied the same concept to home staging.

After all, there’s typically always a better way to arrange your furniture and to accessorize your space when you are preparing your home to sell. And there are just things you do and don’t do. Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two very different ways.

I can give you so many examples of home staging don’ts that I’ve seen since I started Overland Park Home Staging back in 2006. Most homes have a couple of home staging don’ts but then there are those that break all the rules. And some of the home staging don’ts are worse than others.

My biggest pet peeve is the dead animals – whether it’s a moose or deer head, champion fish or a life sized bear wearing a designer scarf around its neck. The dead animal is at the top of my list of home staging don’ts. Even in this day and age where antlers and deer heads are somewhat trending in home décor, it’s not anything you want on display when trying to sell your home.

Home Staging Don’ts Case Study

Years ago, an acquaintance of mine listed her house with another agent. After it was on the market awhile and she wasn’t getting any interest, she reached out to me for my help. As a result, I booked a consultation with her to determine what she might need to do to get some activity going on her home and get it sold.

As soon as I arrived at her home, I realized she had probably broken the top 5 home staging don’ts on my list. First of all, the rooms were crowded with furniture that made the space seem off balance. The kitchen had bright blue tile and countertops that nobody would want. Furthermore, there was no sense of style or décor. Every flat surface was cleared off (due to the advice of her agent) but clutter was stashed inside kitchen drawers and cabinets. Closets were stuffed full of what she was trying to hide. But to top it off, there was a dead animal morgue in the basement with probably at least 25 dead animal heads mounted on the walls. And she’s asking me why her house isn’t selling. 

Here are My Top 10 Home Staging Don’ts

If you are serious about preparing your home to sell, be sure to avoid the following home staging mistakes that many sellers make. Many of them are easily fixable if you get some guidance or hire the right home stager.

Some will require an investment in time and money. Don’t be like the people that told me they just replaced the carpet. It was pink before. Their agent told them to replace the carpet. Unfortunately, they bought new pink carpet. Be very clear on what to do from a professional that can and will guide you.

  1. Dead animals – mounted on the wall or not – they need to go!!!
  2. Rooms that are off balance – this is done in the final steps of home staging
  3. Lack of décor – home staging is not clearing all flat surfaces as many agents will tell you. Your home needs to have the Model Home Look that every buyer wants and pay more money to get.
  4. Too much clutter – you’re moving! Pack up your stuff!
  5. Family photos and personalized plaques etc. – don’t have your family photos and name plastered everywhere for everyone to see. The buyers aren’t there to look at your stuff. They are there to find reasons they can’t live without buying your house.
  6. Fake plants used outside instead of real flowers – this just shows bad taste. Buyers will not fight over your house and drive up the price when you stick fake flowers in the ground.
  7. Ugly kitchen countertops – if you loved them, that’s great. Pick something that will appeal to all buyers and not have to wait for the perfect buyer.
  8. Carpeting that needs to be replaced – don’t offer a carpet allowance. Replace the carpet with a little above builder’s grade. Buyers love new carpet whether it lasts a year or 5 years. You’re moving.
  9. Every room is a different color – find a painter that needs the work and paint the interior something light. White, gray or beige are all good choices. Buyers also love fresh paint.
  10. Wallpaper/wallpaper borders leftover from the 70s – nobody wants to remove wallpaper and it will only prevent your home from selling. Get someone to do this. You’ll be glad you did!

In Conclusion

There are other home selling mistakes that sellers make. But if you can make sure you have these 10 under control, your home should sell quickly and over asking price in any market.

If you want a professional opinion about what you need to do to get your home ready for the market, call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

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