Don’t make these common home staging mistakes

Hank Bailey
Hank Bailey
Published on March 22, 2019

Although home staging seems like an easy project, we see several common mistakes when homeowners make the attempt. Some people 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. The most important aspect 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’re planning to sell.

Not cleaning prior to staging your home

There’s a difference between doing a routine house cleaning and cleaning for staging your home for sale. The latter should be more of a deep clean and serves as the background for the staging. Professional house cleaning services suggest that you move around the home, cleaning from ceiling to the floors, 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 home buyers that the home is well-cared for and maintained!

The wrong furniture and repurposing a space

Furniture that’s too much or too large makes rooms appear both small and cluttered. Anything that clogs a common traffic pattern in a home or makes it feel tight or confined is a bad thing during a showing!

“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.”

I’m sure you’ve seen it, many of us are guilty of it, but repurposing a room for something other than what the room was originally intended to be or advertised as the room’s purpose can be harmful to your sale. This means for example that if there’s a dining room, before you list your home for sale and before the first showing, it needs to be set up like a dining room.  It meets that expectation the buyers will have when they walk in the door for that space as originally designed. This includes the master bedroom and a need to get rid of the treadmill or other workout equipment! They are unsightly and take away from the image you are trying to convey to home buyers!

Neglecting to stage storage areas

This is one that many forget about, but storage areas are vital to most home buyers today! While the home is on the market, its storage spaces should be highlighted, not hidden! Remove bulky winter clothes from closets, organize the pantry and store away excess linens to make the linen closet appear spacious!

“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.

Ignoring the garage

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

Believe it or not, 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!

Find ideas for your garage at

Forgetting your lack of curb appeal

The exterior of your home can make or break how smoothly the process goes when selling your home! 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. Beyond that, I’ve had buyers tell me that if they don’t like the main photo of a house online, they’ll “click” and keep looking for the next home!

Start with exterior walls. Pressure washing is all it takes to make them sparkle. Don’t own a pressure washer?  You can rent one from Home Depot! If your home needs new paint, painting the exterior of your home will return an average 43 percent on your financial investment in the process, according to

Then, let’s turn our attention to 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, both inside and out, is a wise move. But don’t make common mistakes that might negate all your hard work.

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