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Top Ten Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Make

The home-buying season is in full swing, and it's crucial to ensure that your listing is in excellent condition to attract the largest number of potential buyers.


ICHIJO USA Brighton Model
Photo Courtesy of ICHIJO USA: River Terrace Crossing, Brighton Model

As a certified home staging professional, I'm equipped to handle all types of challenging rooms and provide solutions to help your listing leave a lasting impression. Today, I'll share with you the "Top Ten Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Make."


1. Showing the Home Vacant, Without Virtual Staging

The process of searching for a home has undergone a significant change. Gone are the days when prospective buyers had to visit multiple properties to find the perfect home. Today, online platforms have made it easier for buyers to shop for their dream home from their phone or computer.


Did you know? Only 10% of buyers can visualize a space! This is where virtual staging comes in. It takes an empty unit, which can appear cold and uninviting, and transforms it into an attractive space that buyers would want to visit. Vacant rooms may appear smaller to potential buyers, which can raise concerns about furniture placement. Don’t lose out on 90% of the buyers—virtually stage it!


2. Intense Paint Colors

To make a home appealing to prospective buyers, it's important to keep the decor light and neutral. This allows them to envision their belongings and personality in the space, rather than being influenced by the current owner's sense of style. White and cream neutrals are great options for creating this effect. Warm tones have more versatility for room size and shape, while cool neutrals may work better in smaller, darker rooms.


3. Too Much Furniture

When selling a home, it is important to remember that less is more. Having too much furniture crammed into a room can make the space appear smaller, which is not what you want when you are trying to sell a home. The furniture should be arranged in a way that complements the architectural features of the room while giving the illusion of spaciousness. The furniture and other items should not interrupt the proper flow of the room and should allow for at least 36 inches of walking space.


4. Art Hung Too High or Out-of-Scale

When it comes to decorating a home with art, it's important to get the size and placement right. Even a beautiful piece of artwork can look out of place if it's not proportionate to the room. Artwork should take up between two-thirds to three-quarters of the wall space. In a living room, a rectangular canvas measuring 50 inches by 40 inches is a great way to complement a sofa. Hang the art about four to six inches above the top of the sofa and ensure that the center of the artwork is roughly 62 inches above the floor, which is a comfortable eye level for most people.


5. Not Using Area Rugs

Listing Photo Courtesy of Patrick J. Henry, Coldwell Banker Bain Portland Uptown
Listing Photo Courtesy of Patrick J. Henry, Coldwell Banker Bain Portland Uptown

When decorating open floor plans, one common mistake is leaving a large expanse of bare floor without any defining elements. This can make furniture look like it's floating and detract from the overall appeal of the space. To avoid this, it is important to have area rugs that can define different areas in the room. When choosing a rug, make sure it is large enough to accommodate at least the front legs of your sofa and chairs, ideally an 8’x10’ for most normal-sized living rooms. Opting for smaller rugs such as a 5’x7’ may make the room look skimpy and lower its perceived value.


6. Skipping Hiring a Professional Cleaning Person

Everything must be white-glove clean— from the baseboards to the ceiling fans. Professional cleaners strive to meet the highest standards and are aware of the areas that are often overlooked. They will ensure that no spot is missed. Avoid using artificial air fresheners, as they can be overpowering and could give potential buyers the impression that you are trying to hide unpleasant smells. If you are unable to hire a cleaning professional, download the complimentary Bridge City Staging Cleaning Checklist to ensure your listing is “white-glove” clean.


7. De-cluttering by Jamming Everything into the Closet

Storage space is a priority for most home buyers. If the current homeowner's belongings take up too much space, potential buyers may assume that there won't be enough room for their things. Closet space is not just for storage — it's a selling point. If the closet is untidy or disorganized, prospective buyers may question whether the rest of the home has been cared for properly.


8. Neglecting the Patio Area

Patio Listing Photo Courtesy of Quincy Anderson, John L. Scott Clark and Skamania Counties, WA
Listing Photo Courtesy of Quincy Anderson, John L. Scott Clark, and Skamania Counties, WA

When it comes to selling a home, it's important not to overlook or undervalue the outdoor living spaces. Nowadays, homebuyers prioritize outdoor living and having a relaxing staycation ambiance. If these areas are well cared for and kept up-to-date, they can significantly increase the value and desirability of a property. Highlighting the outdoor spaces with virtual staging can help make the most of their financial potential.


9. Offering a Carpet Allowance

When a seller offers a carpet allowance, it means that they acknowledge the fact that the carpet needs to be replaced but they don't want to do it themselves. Instead, they offer the buyer some money to fix the problem. However, this approach is not always the best solution as it simply involves throwing money at the issue. It's better to make the necessary repairs and updates to ensure that the house is move-in ready. This will attract more buyers who are looking for a hassle-free dream home.


10. Using Poor Listing Photos

98% of home buyers start their search online, according to the National Association of Realtors Research Group. This means that having impressive photos of your listing can make the difference between them scrolling past your listing or adding it to their must-see list. While it's important to focus on how your listing looks in person, you should also consider how it appears in photos. When virtually staging a room, photographers should aim to capture as much of the room as possible. The angle should be such that the entire room and its features can be seen virtually. It's best to show three walls, as this gives buyers a more complete understanding of the space. By including more of the room in the photo, you can tell the story of your home with fewer images.


Don't Make the Top Ten Home Staging Mistakes

If you're having difficulty making your property listing look appealing, it may be worth considering hiring a professional home stager. Not only is Bridge City Staging the expert in virtual staging we also specialize in Walk & Talk Staging Consultations. At Bridge City Staging, we can assess your listing and provide suggestions to help you maximize its potential. We have an expert eye for what works and what doesn't, and can ultimately save you time, money, and stress. If you need assistance, don't hesitate to contact Bridge City Staging for help.


Call 503-810-9527 to schedule a consultation or virtual staging project!

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