Home staging is often a great way to make a house stand out from others on the market. Potential buyers are able to visualize what it would be like to live in the space you’re offering, and it helps make a home more memorable.
That said, home staging is easy to do poorly. Fortunately, many mistakes are easy to avoid. Here, we’ll go over a few of those.
While it’s true that home staging is more or less an act of illusion, that doesn’t mean it should look fake. Fake plants, fruit bowls, televisions, and so forth are pretty easy to pick out, and they will give the impression that what you’re displaying isn’t actually possible. In addition, in many cases, using real items can actually be cheaper.
For instance, fake plants are actually pretty expensive, especially if you want any degree of realism. The same often goes for plastic fruit. Real fruit looks far more realistic (naturally), while plastic stuff tends to cost more while still looking at least a little fake.
On the other hand, an inflatable mattress may be workable, but only if you cover it with attractive linens to make it look as real as possible. Otherwise, it only reinforces the “fake” vibe you want to avoid.
No Pre-Staging Pictures
Your buyers want to visualize themselves and their furnishings in the home you’re selling. Often, this means making adjustments to help them do that. For instance, if you’d staged a room as a child’s bedroom and one buyer keeps wondering what it would look like as a workout room, you’ll want to be able to make some changes.
By taking pictures beforehand, you allow the option to do some virtual staging after the fact. This is often inexpensive, but it does get pricey if your virtual designer has to edit out furniture first.
Too Narrow Design (Or Too Much)
Another common home staging mistake is shooting for a narrow design scheme. One example would be to gender children’s bedrooms. If you’re trying to sell to a family with two daughters, a sports-themed bedroom would be less likely to sell, for instance. If your potential buyer is an older couple, they probably wouldn’t be impressed by a super-modern look. A more neutral appearance would be better in each case.
A narrow style can also preclude people from seeing their own furnishings in the space. Many families have a fairly eclectic collection of furniture, so if you design your whole staging around one visual effect, it could turn away buyers. The idea is to make the home look like it could be lived in without necessarily showcasing targeted interior design.
Way Too Neutral
Sure, it looks nice, but it’s also forgettable. While you shouldn’t get too specific with your home staging design, it can also be detrimental to be too neutral as well. You want the home to be memorable, so while you don’t want bright, flashy colors and gaudy decor, you should still try to make it unique.
To achieve this balance, color is your friend. Bold, bright colors may be out, but going with bland white and gray isn’t going to sell very easily either. Try using attractive color schemes for each room to make them stand out from anything else your buyer is going to see.
Another key to making a space stand out is to know your audience. For example, if you’re marketing to a younger crowd, modern decor will likely leave a better impression than more traditional design features. Designing with your audience in mind can make your home stand out from all others.
Lack of Scale
In each space, you’ll want to achieve a certain sense of scale. If you want a room to look bigger, one idea some might try is to minimize the use of furniture. However, this can actually have the reverse effect—if there’s hardly any furniture in a large living room, people will have trouble seeing how their family will fit.
The reverse is also true. If you overstuff a space, it will make it appear cluttered and unlivable. Ultimately, you want enough furniture to use the space without cluttering it. This will give a proper sense of scale to each room while allowing buyers to see what their own furnishings might look like.
Home Staging Options
In order to be effective, home staging needs to be done well. If you don’t have the budget to make the place look attractive, it doesn’t really help too much. That said, if your budget could cover a few rooms, doing that is better than none at all. Also, virtual staging is frequently less expensive (and more versatile) than getting real furnishings for each space, making it another valid option.
The ultimate purpose of home staging—and anything else you do while selling a home—is to make sure the house leaves a positive impression on potential buyers. By avoiding these mistakes, you’re more likely to sell.
Another way for real estate agents to make a home more attractive to buyers is by including a home warranty. It’s worth taking the time to evaluate which options are best for your potential market.