6 Staging Mistakes Every Seller Should Avoid

6 Staging Mistakes Every Seller Should Avoid

Winter Time Home
Is this your home in the Winter?

You know how they say: all the world’s a stage. Well, we could say that Shakespeare got it right since the saying holds even in the real estate industry. You’re about to get into the role of a seller and set the stage for closing a deal! That’s right – we’re talking staging your home for sale. This is a crucial step when selling a piece of property, although it’s not the easiest one to make. As always, where there’s action – there are bound to be some mistakes. What are the staging mistakes every seller should avoid, you might ask? We might answer: that’s what you’ll find out in a matter of minutes.


What is house staging?

We’ll try to be quick here, as we don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. In simplest of terms: staging means preparing a home for potential buyers. What does home staging involve? It includes redecorating, rearranging the furniture inside one’s home, cleaning, and other little aesthetic touches to give your home the presentation it deserves. Of course, the main objective is to make your home as attractive and appealing as possible to the largest number of potential buyers possible.

In order to sell a home, one must “set the stage” first. It includes doing little aesthetic refurbishing to make it more appealing to potential buyers.

A home after staging
A home after proper staging

#1 Hiding instead of decluttering

Of course, when the moment to “set the stage” comes, most folks would rather hide or cram the clutter inside a closet or guest room. The same thing happens when they’re expecting guests, etc.


The thing is: that’s a no-no tactic that should be avoided at all costs. It’s much better to do some decluttering instead of hiding excessive items. If you can’t throw something away or are too sentimental about it, you might want to find a place for your items inside a rented storage unit. That’s because buyers consider free space one of the most valuable factors to look for in a home. They’ll actually want to scan their way through your home’s empty rooms and closets to evaluate how much storage space your soon-to-be ex-home has. Believe us, the last thing they want to see is your cramped belongings. Sell, donate, put some stuff inside the storage – it doesn’t really matter what you’ll do as long as your home’s clutter-free.


#2 Showing off bizarre collections

One of the most common misconceptions about selling a home is that buyers will somehow enjoy seeing the elements of your personality (so to speak) inside the home you’re showcasing. Of course, we’re all aware that many folks like to collect stuff, and they’re pretty proud of it. Still, most of these collections (especially the ones that are, for lack of a better word, unusual) need to be put aside. The truth is: most buyers won’t find your clay elephants collection appealing or, in extreme cases, your gun collection. As you might assume, these will distract potential buyers from seeing the actual values your home has. Store those collections somewhere else.

It’s best you store your collections somewhere else before the house-staging moment arrives.

Odd Collections
It’s best you store your collections somewhere else before the house-staging moment arrives

#3 The issue of overdesigning

Needless to say, your main task is to make your home as appealing as possible. No one’s trying to deny that fact. Still, many folks like to overdo it, or rather – overdesign it. Overdesigning your place or making it too stylish will have a contrary effect. Potential buyers will most likely see your trace in every corner of the house, and that’s what you’re trying to avoid. They need to see some space for change. That’s why you want to keep things simple yet appealing. Use subtle home accessories to make an impression, and avoid using rather unnecessary props and fake decorations such as plastic fruit, for instance. Plastic fruit? Yikes!

#4 Scaling mistakes

One of the most “popular” staging mistakes every seller should avoid is using furniture and accessories that don’t quite match the scale and proportion of the room. They will assume they have somehow created an illusion of their home offering more space than it actually has by adding smaller, lightweight items. Still, the experts will disagree here. The key to successful staging lies in using appropriately-sized furniture and decoration that is positioned optimally. For instance, putting an oversized sofa in a small room or a tiny coffee table inside a living room are clear examples of what should be avoided. Avoid cluttering the place with little ornaments as they’ll make the room seem visually cramped.

Livingroom sofa in the corner
This looks like the right spot for the sofa and wall art.

Make sure the furniture is appropriately-sized when compared to the space inside each room of your home.

#5 Never mind the smell, sir

So, you’ve done everything we’ve mentioned above. You’ve cleaned all the clutter, packed the collections, put appropriately-sized furniture in its place, etc. Okay, everything seems to be in order. But, wait a second. What’s that awful smell?

As you probably already know, humans like to rely on their sense of smell. It’s an evolutionary thing, you know. Anyway, you might’ve forgotten that the odors inside your home might be a turn-off for many potential buyers. That’s because you’re used to the smell yourself and can’t tell the difference. It’s one of the most important staging errors sellers should avoid. Why? No matter how fantastic you’ve set the stage, the smell of cigarettes, for instance, will not attract any buyers. Quite the contrary! Try to make your home as odorless as possible, and organize a so-called sniff test with your friends or the real estate agent assigned to sell your home.

#6 Not staging at all

Probably one of the worst, if not the worst of all staging mistakes every seller should avoid is not staging at all. Staging is one of the most critical parts of the whole home-selling ordeal. Not bothering to stage at all is like choosing to appear on a date in your underwear, thinking that you will make a good impression based solely on your personality. It just doesn’t work that way. Even though staging might seem expensive, some parts of it (like decluttering) aren’t really all that costly, and you might even earn a buck or two (organizing a yard sale of your excessive furniture). Some folks even hire professionals to handle the task of staging. Whatever you do – make sure you know there’s no going around the home staging phase.