June 7, 2023:

Don’t Make These 10 Home Staging Mistakes!

Everyone wants to put their best foot forward, especially if you are about to list your home for sale. Buyers don’t take very long to decide about purchasing a home when they visit it. It can often take only a few steps into a home or a few seconds for buyers to decide. Undoubtedly, first impressions matter, and you only get one shot at making a great first impression.   

If it is your first time selling your home, or perhaps you haven’t sold your home in a while, you want to make sure that your home staging and layout work for you and not against you. We’ve compiled a list of staging mistakes you want to avoid when selling your home (make sure to read all the way to number 10, it’s the most important one!)   

Planning to list your home for sale? Find out what your home could be worth in today’s market by using our FREE Home Evaluation Tool!   


You know what they say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail,” and while you can take your chances and jump into staging your home without a strategy, you could be losing out on value by not showing your home to its greatest potential.     

Staging a home comes with a new mindset: you are no longer arranging your home to your needs, but you are staging for the buyer’s experience. What may work for you as a homeowner may not work for everyone, and sticking to your preferences might limit your home’s showing potential. How you market your home should also determine how your home is staged. If your home is marketed to growing families, but the staging does not account for young children, those buyers will struggle to envision their new life in that home.   


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One of the hardest things to wrap your head around as a seller is that while your home is on the market, yes, it is still your home, but it is also now a product for sale. This means that there may be better ways to show off your home than what worked for your day-to-day life, from where the couches and television are set up to table placement.   

Care and attention should go into how buyers will feel walking into your home. The layout should provide space for a handful of people to comfortably walk around to view things. Not only that, but furniture plays a huge role in how large or small a room may look. The last thing you want to do is give the impression that your living room is too crowded or impractical when moving your couch to the other side of the room may result in a different experience.   


The goal of a showing is for the buyers to walk around the home, view it in person, and ultimately get the chance to envision themselves living in that home and experiencing life there. Having items like family photos, portraits of pets, personal achievements like trophies or awards, or any other personal items may make the buyers feel like they are intruding on someone else’s home. It’s best to put those treasured items away and out of sight while your home is on the market.   


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It’s hard to think of our personal belongings as clutter. We fill our homes with items that have value for us, or maybe certain items have been passed down for generations. Unfortunately, buyers do not have those same emotions and appreciation for those items that we do as sellers. In fact, they may even find it distracting. Too many items, appliances, decor pieces or furniture may be a visual distraction for buyers. It can also make a space appear smaller or more crowded.   


In addition to coming to view your home in person, you are also staging your home for marketing photography. These photos will likely be the first glimpse buyers will get into your home, and if they don’t look their best, you may not get as many showings or appointments in the first place.   

Some colors, furniture positioning and even personal items look more appealing on camera than others, so understanding how your stage home will look when photographed could cause buyers to scroll past your home or flip to the next option.   


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Your staging should highlight some of your home’s most sellable features. Do you have an incredible in-ground pool in your backyard? A bedroom balcony surrounded by luscious palms? Or perhaps your dining room has plenty of natural light beaming through those large windows, making sunset dinners incredible. You want to identify your home's unique, marketable features and use your staging setup to showcase those features. For example, the worst thing you can do is put a bookshelf in front of that dining room window to block that natural light or fill that balcony with clutter to distract buyers from its potential.   


The nose knows best, and buyers tend to react negatively to strong odors when visiting a home for sale. As homeowners, we tend to become accustomed to particular smells over time, but a stranger walking into your home will always remember a bad smell, which can often be instantly turned off. Pay attention to particular odors that can be controversial, such as nicotine or cigars, pets and animals, water damage, dust buildup or even strong body odor. Enlist the help of a third party to do a “smell test” for you to get an objective opinion.   

But wait – before you go and load up on plug-in air fresheners, candles or fragrances, these smells can elicit an equally negative reaction. Some people are susceptible to strong fragrances. Not only that, but it can cause suspicion and lead buyers to wonder if you are intentionally covering up a smell. In this case, cleanliness, airflow and natural scents like fresh-cut flowers or baked goods will take you much farther.   


One way to avoid mistake #7 also avoids mistake #8, which is doing a deep clean of your home. The trouble with cleaning is that everyone tends to have a different opinion of what is considered “clean enough.” If you are selling your home, it’s best to clean even more than you would normally consider clean. Pay particular attention to the kitchen area and the bathroom, but cleaning the baseboards, window casings, and door knobs will contribute to a brighter, clearer home!   


Selling your home can be time consuming, with so many parts at work. You may have had to complete some renovations before listing, or you may have other life circumstances putting you in a time crunch to get your home on the market. Staging and setting up your home to sell is one area where you cannot cut corners. How your home is presented, down to the little details and finishing touches, can drastically impact whether your home sells quickly and how much value you get for your home. You only get one chance to make a great first impression with your buyers, so make it count!   


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If this list sounds exhausting, you are not alone! So many people find the staging process overwhelming or confusing. This is why not hiring a professional stager can be a huge mistake that may cost you in the long run. Professional home stagers know exactly how to market your home and provide the best buyer experience through its layout and decor. They can also help with depersonalization and provide cleaning suggestions so your home looks its best for buyers. They also have an understanding of how certain rooms look once photographed and will arrange the contents of your home so it shines on camera.   


When you work with Faris Team, you can choose Complimentary Home Staging to help make your experience Stress-Free! Our staging team knows precisely how to deliver that incredible first impression to buyers and will help you with everything you need to get your home on the market. Our proven system helps showcase your home’s best features so you can get the value you deserve for your home for sale. Learn more about Faris Team’s system of success here!


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