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Selling Your Home? Look Out for These 10 Common Staging Mistakes

A modern home with a white fireplace and blue couch

Are you motivated to sell your house and start living the retirement of your dreams? Like most sellers, getting your home sold quickly and for the best price is a top priority. However, rushing to get your home on the market can result in staging mistakes that hurt your chances of selling quickly and at the price you want. With the right strategy for staging your home, you can avoid common mistakes that can negatively impact your home sale.

A house that’s unprepared for sale may have too much furniture, overflowing closets, cluttered counters, and walls crammed with family photos. These are known as staging failures, and chances are the For Sale sign will be sitting on the lawn for a long time. The lesson here? When the time comes to sell, focus on ways to stage your home for success. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Home Staging?

Staging your home is a strategy that highlights the home’s best features so buyers can visualize themselves living in the space. Doing so helps you “set the stage” to make a good first impression with potential buyers.

If you’re working with a real estate agent, they should offer tips to successfully stage your home. You can also hire a professional home stager for a fee. This is a great option if you’ve already moved and your house is empty. A staging expert will bring in just enough furnishings to give buyers an idea of the characteristics of a room and how furniture might be arranged in the space.

Of course, you know your home best, which is why many sellers opt to stage their home on their own. With a little creativity and thoughtful planning on your part, you can successfully stage your home to make it more appealing to buyers.

10 Common Staging Mistakes to Avoid

The following tips can help you avoid some common staging mistakes that can ruin your chances for a speedy, fruitful sale. Here are 10 seller slip-ups to keep in mind:

1. Your decorating style is too personal. Put away the family photos, awards, kids’ artwork, etc. Instead, choose art and decor that blends in.

2. Too many trinkets are visually distracting. Pack up your collections, family memorabilia, knickknacks, etc. Opt for a vase of fresh flowers and a few well-placed decorative items.

3. You overlook the small, easy fixes. Don’t spend your time and money on major renovation projects like replacing windows or repaving the driveway. Instead, focus on small, doable projects, like fixing loose door knobs, leaking faucets, stained grout, missing or damaged trim pieces, etc. 

4. You try to cover up worn carpet or scuffed up walls. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can hide wall dings and dirt, or worn carpet. Fix chipped paint, wall and wood scratches, and anything that looks like it might need repair or touch-up. Remove wallpaper so potential buyers won’t think about how it clashes with their own style.

5. Your home’s curb appeal is lacking. The footprint of your home extends into your yard, so it pays to spruce up the landscaping and make sure the lawn looks great. A couple of potted plants and a welcome mat at the door can make your entry more inviting.

6. Your home needs a deep clean. Ensuring your home is clean and tidy is essential, and putting in the extra effort to achieve a spotless, showroom-ready level of clean can really make a difference. Consider hiring a cleaning crew to perform a deep clean from the floorboards to the cabinets, carpets, etc.

7. Your home’s lighting is a letdown. Perhaps you have heavy drapes blocking natural light or poor wattage in overhead lighting fixtures. Do a walk-through of every room in your home to make sure the wattage is appropriate and allows for a well-lit cohesive appearance throughout.

8. Your closets are overly full. Potential buyers look everywhere, so make sure storage areas appear spacious. Consider removing half your clothes and large dishes that look cramped in cupboards, and storing those items neatly in boxes in an attic or storage unit. 

9. Odors need to be neutralized. You may be used to pet odor and pet hair in your home, but others will probably notice it right away. Invite a trusted friend over or ask your real estate agent if they can smell pet odor of any kind. Clean and deodorize, paying special attention to bathrooms and places where pets spend time. 

10. There’s pet gear everywhere. Always put away pet cages, food bowls and toys for a home showing. If possible, take your pets with you during a showing. If you can’t, confine them to one room with the door closed or fence up, and leave a note to let the real estate agent know. 

Start Planning Your Move to Our Neighborhood

Autumn Leaves wants to make your move to our community as easy as possible — and make sure you settle in comfortably and enjoy the carefree retirement lifestyle here. We think you’ll also love our selection of spacious Independent Living floor plans, all fresh and ready for you to create your perfect next home. Contact us to schedule a tour today. We hope to welcome you to the neighborhood very soon!

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