Most Common Home Staging Mistakes

A whopping 95 percent of staged homes sell on average, in just 11 days or less. Conversely, properties which are not staged stay on the open market for an average of 90 days. Residences which are properly staged sell for 17 percent more than non-staged homes.

What’s more, sellers who had their homes professionally staged for just $500 fetched a return on investment of an astounding 343 percent. The figures don’t stop here, in fact, the psychology of buyers’ makes only 10 percent of them able to see a home differently than it appears; and, buyers form their impression about a property in 7 to 10 seconds.

Why Staging a Home Works

Staging, you might think, is turning a home into a model. That’s true in a sense, but it misses the real mark. Take a look back at the statistic which shows only 10 percent of buyers can see a home differently than it appears. You might even think back to the last time you were watching one of those home hunting shows on television and could not believe the petty objections buyers had.

“You may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be ‘charming’ to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves and, in doing so, create mistakes that can actually sidetrack the sale of their homes.” —Realty Times

Your reaction, it’s more than likely, was shouting at the TV or turning to the person next to you and saying something like, “That’s not a big deal, it can be fixed.” The reason you’re able to do that is you are not in the same frame of mind. You aren’t the person plunking down ten of thousands of dollars in a down payment and committing to paying back hundreds of thousands.

What’s more, you’re not in the same emotional state. There’s a lot of stress, expectation, and frustration that comes with a house hunt. This is what staging seeks to accomplish–preemptively remove any objections to allow buyers to see themselves in the home.

The Biggest Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Make

With these facts in mind, it’s easy to see the benefits of staging your home when you’re ready to sell. However, it’s also just as easy to sabotage your own efforts. Here are the most common, and biggest home staging mistakes sellers make:

  • Entryway clutter. Nothing does more to turn off buyers as much as feeling they have to squeeze their way through the front door. The lesson here is, make sure the entryway, from the outside to the inside is a clear, open pathway.
  • Leaving pets in the home. Okay, as recently as 2012, the Humane Society estimates some 62 percent of households were homes to pets. They are cute; but, they are an unwelcome sight to most buyers, even those who have pets. It presents the proposition of having to deal with what real estate professionals call “pet damage”. So, have a plan for your pets.
  • Too many personal items. Pictures of the family, trophies, knickknacks, even jackets hanging on a coat rack are something buyers just do not want to see. They are there to see their new home, not your house.
  • Too much furniture. Scale it back and create a sense of space as well as plenty of room to navigate about from room to room. This will also create the impression of more space and give people touring the property decorating ideas.
  • Dirty laundry. We tend to forget about such things because they are just “chores”. However, buyers will take notice and form a negative impression when they see laundry. Put it away and get it out of sight.
  • Dishes left in the sink. Even if the dishes are clean, resting on the counter, they will be the focus of attention.

Yet another mistake is leaving anything that is broken unfixed. Yes, you might be used to that closet door that doesn’t quite shut, that window with the small crack in the pane, or a garage door opener that’s near the end of it life, but otherwise interested buyers will just tack those onto their list of expenses and that will give them plenty of reason to cross your home off their list.