Top 5 Home Staging Mistakes

Top 5 Home Staging Mistakes

Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ Reveals 5 Top Home-Staging Mistakes
Adaptation of original article authored by Judy Dutton|

Few home renovation reality show hosts are as enjoyable to watch as Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” As the show’s before-and-after pics make clear, they are an effective combo when it comes to transforming standard (read “blah”!) houses into gorgeous homes!

One of the keys to a successful home sale, says Jo, is home staging, where you arrange your furniture and décor in a way that entices buyers to make an offer. However, home staging is a highly misunderstood practice, one where home sellers can easily make missteps that can undermine these efforts.

Here, Jo reveals the top five home-staging mistakes she’s seen, so you’ll know to avoid them when selling your home.

Mistake No. 1: Purging all your family photos

“You’ll hear staging experts say to take down your family photos, kids’ artwork, and anything personal, so that a potential buyer can picture their family in your home, rather than seeing yours everywhere,” says Jo. “Personally, I love knowing that a house is well-loved, and seeing those personal touches displayed reminds me that my family would be happy there, too.”

Mistake No. 2: Including too much furniture

“Trying to put too much furniture in one space makes it look smaller than it really is,” Jo explains. “Try to stick with three large pieces at most per room to keep the house feeling big and open.”

BTW, the above photo features a basically lovely room, but crammed with furniture.  This room SCREAMS “Please stage me!”. It could easily be transformed into a stunning room!

Mistake No. 3: Not cleaning up

“It’s true that leaving your house a mess can keep a potential buyer from seeing how beautiful your space really is, so a quick cleaning blitz before a showing can do a lot of good,” says Jo. “When the house is clean, buyers can see you love your house—and know they will, too.”

Mistake No. 4: Stuffing clutter into closets

On the other hand, “if you’re scrambling to clean up when a real estate agent schedules a last-minute showing, don’t stuff your closets full of laundry, toys, odds, and ends,” says Jo. “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.”

Mistake No. 5: Ignoring your home’s exterior

“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 Jo. “It’s all about reminding them that your house is cared for, so they won’t worry that you’re also ignoring what they can’t see.

Call me if you’re thinking of selling your home this year and buying a new home.  I have many tips to assist you on both transactions and make the purchase and sale pleasant and rewarding!  You deserve a home that fits your lifestyle!


Sellers Discuss Their Mistakes & Regrets

Adapted from an article authored by Jennifer O’Neill ,

Homeowners who’ve successfully sold their home often look back and wish they’d done certain things differently.

Author Ms O’Neill recently interviewed some real-life sellers to tell their stories so you can learn from their mistakes! Read this rueful list of home sellers’ biggest regrets, and remember them when you decide to place your own home on the market.

Take the time to put your home in top-notch condition

Regret No. 1: Not fully preparing your home for marketing

Serious about selling your home? Three phrases apply: Fix it up!  Freshen it up! And Clean, Clean, Clean it up!

One seller reports: “I didn’t spend enough time prepping our house for sale—purging, staging, or doing small repair projects. And I regret not planning ahead or getting real about what had to be done, and it ended up costing me precious time and money.”

Regret No. 2: Skipping the staging

It’s easy to see how staging impresses a buyer!

“I really regret not paying the money to stage my home right off the bat,” confesses a Chicago seller.

“The money that it cost us owning the home longer was far more than the price it eventually cost to stage it.” That jibes with the stats on staging–professionally staged properties spend 73% less time on the market.

Regret No. 3: Jumping at the first offer

Antsy to exit her condominium, another couple acted with their hearts rather than their heads. More than a year later, she regrets it.

“We were so anxious to move, we accepted the first offer before it even went on the market,” she confesses. “We went for it because we thought it was quick and easy, but I’m we would have gotten much more if we’d just taken a breath and let the market find our house.”

Regret No. 4: Caving to a buyer’s whims

Sellers often learn the hard way that it doesn’t pay to bend over backward for a demanding buyer.

“Our buyer was really difficult and wanted us to give on so many items,” another seller reports. “We also agreed to give the buyer money toward updating the roof so we were very frustrated on the day of closing when he wanted even more.”

That seller stood firm, and after a few hitches, the sale continued–thanks to an agreement between the two participating Realtors to appease the buyer by reducing their commission. This was a last-ditch effort to save the entire transaction from falling apart, but it is seldom done.

Regret No. 5: Expecting your new buyer to love your house

If your hope is that your buyer will maintain and lovingly care for your old house as you did, you may be in for a huge disappointment. You have an emotional attachment to your old home and may feel a twinge of resentment if you find that the new owners don’t love the house as you did.

If you encounter this situation, your best approach is to concentrate on your NEW home. You moved for a reason!  Rejoice in that new home!  Resist the urge to drive by your old house—relegate it to your fondest memories, but recognize it was in the past.  Although you have an emotional pull, remember that the sale of your home was a business decision with a successful ending.

Regret No. 6: Trying to sell without an agent

This sign is an open invitation to strangers to get inside your home. Do NOT take the risk.

You may be tempted to sell your home by yourself. There are many valid reasons this is not the correct approach.  To maximize your profit and get your home sold in a timely manner, while keeping the transaction legal and your rights protected, you need to work with an experienced agent.  Laura has addressed this topic on her website, and she invites you to read her article “Why Do I Need an Agent to Sell My House?

If you are planning to sell your home and buy a new one that better fits your lifestyle, please contact me, Laura Van Meter. I will guide you through all these steps and create a smooth and successful transaction.  I’ll save you time, reduce stress, and maximize your profits!