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.