Don’t make these 5 common home staging mistakes

Jennifer Y. Ross
Published on June 4, 2018

Don’t make these 5 common home staging mistakes

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Although DIY home staging may seem an easy project, we see several common mistakes when homeowners make the attempt. Most go about the process as if it were just a matter of rearranging furniture or redecorating.

There’s a lot more to home staging than that, however. The most important aspect is of it is knowing who your most likely buyer will be and then appealing to his or her emotions.

Take a look at the five most common staging mistakes we see so you can avoid them if you plan on going the DIY route.

Mistake number 1: Not cleaning before you stage

There’s a difference between routine house cleaning and cleaning for staging. The latter is a deep clean and serves as the background for the staging. Professional housecleaners suggest that you move around the house, cleaning from the ceiling to the floor, so that you don’t miss any spots.

“Dust and wipe down the baseboards, clean the vents, bleach the grout in your shower, and polish the hardware in your kitchen and bathrooms,” suggests the experts at MHM Professional Staging in Orlando, Florida.

A deep clean also sends a subliminal message to potential buyers that the home is well-cared for and helps them imagine living in the space.

Mistake No. 2: Leaving the wrong furniture in place

Too much (or too big) furniture makes rooms appear cluttered.

“Trying to put too much furniture in one space makes it look smaller than it really is,” Joanna Gaines tells HGTV’s Judy Dutton.

“Try to stick with three large pieces at most per room to keep the house feeling big and open.”

Then, ensure that what’s left in each room advertises the room’s purpose. This means no baby changing table in the home office and ridding the master bedroom of the treadmill.

Mistake number 3: Neglecting to stage storage areas

While the home is on the market, its storage spaces should be highlighted. Remove bulky winter clothes and blanket from closets and cupboards, organize the pantry and store excess linens to make the linen cupboard appear roomy.

“Potential buyers will definitely want to know how much storage space your home has, so no closet will be safe for concealing messes. If you’re in a pinch, a last-ditch effort to hide a mess is under a bed,” according to Gaines.

Mistake No. 4: Ignoring the garage

A National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study finds that more than half of the homebuyers they surveyed find a home with a garage “essential” or “desirable.”

A 2017 National Association of Realtors survey resulted in learning that more than 30 percent of homebuyers think the garage is the most important room in the home. Baby boomers, in fact, care more about the garage than the living room.

Get ideas for your garage at realtor.com

Mistake number 5: Assuming buyers won’t notice your lack of curb appeal

The exterior of your home can make or break your bottom line. It’s the home’s first impression and, believe me, if potential buyers don’t like what they see from the curb, they’ll drive on to the next home on their lists.

Start with the exterior walls. Sometimes powerwashing is all it takes to make them sparkle. If the home needs new paint, however, you can look forward to an average 43 percent return on your financial investment in the process, according to homegain.com.

Then, turn your attention to the landscaping. “Simple touches like making sure the lawn is freshly cut, power-washing the driveway, or putting a few freshly potted plants on the front porch can make a big impact,” says Gaines.

Staging your home, inside and out, is a wise move. But don’t make common mistakes that might negate all your hard work.


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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS

Jennifer epitomizes her motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge.  She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience.  Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale.  After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University.  Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane.  She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale.  Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools.  Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families. Professional Associations & Accreditations Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Compass & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS).  Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors.

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