10 Home Staging Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You Are Making

By: Reza Afshar

10 Home Staging Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You Are Making


Everyone has heard of the home staging phenomenon and its powerful effect on buyers, and while some sellers hire professional stagers to get the most out of their home, others do it in a DIY fashion. The point is to get your home to appeal to as many buyers as possible, but sellers often focus too much on what they like instead of having their home speak to the masses. Here are some of the most common staging mistakes sellers make:

1.  Eccentric colors
You may think that a red wall in the living room goes perfect with the sofa, but strong colours are not everyone's cup of tea. Stick to the pastel colour palette as they are more popular with the buyers. Plus, warmer colours make the rooms look bigger and open up the space.

2.  Too Much Decoration
Adding too many details and knick-knacks can distract buyers from the important features. You do not need a ton of paintings on the wall or 5 flower vases and décor items displayed on the living room shelves to present your home. Accentuate only the features that you want to stand out and never forget that less is more. For example, you can put a few cushions on the couch or a chic lamp on the nightstand, but these elements should never take on the primary role, only complement the two pieces of furniture.

3.  Forgetting The Lights
Maybe your home gets a great amount of natural light, but if it’s gloomy outside and you’re expecting buyers, you’ll have to strategize. Turn on the lights and lamps to enhance the mood inside. Light is a valuable selling feature and should be emphasized on every occasion. If the sun is shining, open the drapes and let the sunshine in, buyers will appreciate it.

4.  Too Small Furniture Pieces
You probably have heard that smaller furniture makes space look bigger, and while that's true, it's not a reason to get the tiniest furniture you can find. It still has to be in proportion with the size of the rooms. Make sure that the furniture also complements the style of your home.

5.  Personal Items
Depersonalization is key, and sellers are aware of that, but yet, they often forget to remove all personal items from visible places. You may think that the family photo on the wall or several pairs of shoes on the shoe rack won't draw any attention, but they will. Buyers need to imagine themselves living there and not see how you live.

6.  Sterilizing Your Home
Playing it safe with neutral colours and light marble flooring can make the home look too sterile and deprive the home of the cozy home feeling buyers are usually looking for. Make sure to keep a sense of warmth in the home by adding one or two lively accent colours as a pop of life.  The accent colour can be brought out in a consistent colour of sofa pillows, a blanket or few accent pieces on the coffee table. Also don’t be afraid to choose an unusual colour for this accent as it gives buyers something to remember and distinguish your home from any other. Buyers can then refer to your home as the home with the yellow, or green pillows.

7.  Neglecting the Outdoors
The exterior is as important as the indoors. The porch and entrance are the first things buyers get to see when they come to a home showing. You don’t want them to see debris or the paint peeling off your fence.  A tasteful curb appeal, especially now in the spring, can work wonders. Set up a few plants and a nice welcome doormat to make a good first impression.

8.  Air-fresheners
It’s understandable that sellers think that air fresheners are a nice way to freshen up the room, but the truth is that they’re seen as a cover-up of the household smells, and buyers find them annoying. Some even may be allergic. The best you can do is to use odour eliminators to get the stale air out of the carpets, drapes and furniture. After all, no one has ever complained about the smell of clean.

9.  Staging the entire home
Some rooms should stay stage free to give buyers the chance to experience a real-life portion of your home. Tidy up, organize and clean the space/room but restrain from further touch-ups, adding new furniture or displaying fake items (e.g. plastic fruit).

10.  Improper Decluttering
It’s true that clutter should be removed from all visible places, but it doesn’t mean it should be stored in the closets. Closets also need to be decluttered and neatly organized because buyers will want to see their storage capacity. It won’t make a good impression if they find shelves overfilled with clothes and boxes. Decluttering in staging terms means getting the entire clutter out of the home.

If you are selling a home or condo in Downtown Toronto and need one-on-one staging tips, call me or go to https://www.sellingtorontocondos.com/contact/.