Home staging is a vital process that can make or break a home selling experience. Special preparations are always a good idea, whether as a homeowner or as an agent. Homebuyers will be looking out for all the pros and cons of a house before deciding to make an offer, and you certainly don’t want to leave any room to sow doubts. You may have a house in a five-star location with impeccable home value, but still, lose the attention of buyers if your open house falls flat. Let your potential homebuyers feel like they’re at home by ensuring you don’t make any of these mistakes during a home staging.
1. Not Considering Lighting
Just as lighting is vital in photography and filmography, it can also play a major role in how the interior and exterior of a house are perceived. White, sterile lights casting down from the ceiling can make the home seem less appealing and welcoming compared to several different types of accent lighting combined. Mood lighting is becoming especially prominent these days to allow the space to feel ambient and unique. You can even go above and beyond by getting a custom “welcome” sign from a local neon sign store to add even more character to the space.
2. Too Many Personal Belongings
A big issue that repels buyers is when the space has too many personal belongings from the current homeowners on display. That includes, but isn’t limited to, items like photographs, family heirlooms, symbols and signs, trinkets and statuettes, clothes and shoes, hygiene products, and so on. The goal of staging a house is to allow potential buyers to envision how their future new home will look. The keyword here is the future. They don’t want to look at a house and think the house looks old, used, occupied, cluttered, unwelcoming, or any similar adjectives.
3. Not Deep Cleaning
If a cluttered house wasn’t bad enough, one that also gives the impression of being filthy will certainly leave a negative impression on visitors. Some agents take on the responsibility of hiring a cleaning crew prior to the staging to clean the house as an out-of-pocket expense. Alternatively, you can wipe down the house briefly and open a few windows to promote air ventilation if the house is empty. Anything besides leaving it dusty (and perhaps a bad odor). If the homeowners still live in the home, it’s a good idea to mention how the cleanliness of the house can impact potential buyers’ opinions.
4. Forgetting About the Exterior
The exterior of the house leaves the very first impression on homeowners. Although the interior is where homeowners spend most of their time, everyone still looks for an eye-catching and clean exterior. Make sure you do the architectural design of the outside of the home justice by keeping it clean, doing some brief landscaping, and highlighting the best features.
5. Leaving it Empty
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find houses that are entirely empty or have very minimal furniture during the open house. This is a missed opportunity to allow potential buyers to envision how the space will look with bigger pieces of furniture around and various styling options. It’s best to find the golden middle when it comes to furnishing the home during staging.
6. Forgetting the Focal Points
When furnishing a house, it’s important to be aware of all the key selling points that the house has. Once you pinpoint what those focal points are, you don’t want them to look lackluster or forgotten about in the final staging. For example, a fireplace is a great example of a common focal point in a room. Organize the furniture around the fireplace to create a cozy
7. Covering the Windows
Open the curtains or shades and let natural light fill all the space. Homebuyers won’t know about the full potential of space if all the windows are shut and locked. You can simply draw the curtains to the sides without removing them completely for the staging.
8. Playing it Safe
After all the points we mentioned above, it may seem like a daunting task to furnish and stage a house, and you may be inclined to keep the furnishing simple. While that’s a good idea, ensure you aren’t playing it safe and end up with a sterile-looking space. That’s certainly not what buyers are looking for. Try to incorporate some unique pieces of furniture into the décor around the space that show a pop of color, style, and finesse. Your visitors will surely appreciate it if it’s done tastefully.
9. Not Focusing on the Senses
Smell, taste, feeling, sound, sight… we all know what our senses are, but did know that all five need to be taken into consideration when staging a home? If the house appeals to all of the senses of a potential buyer, they will have a hard time finding faults in the space. After all, they want to feel at home and comfortable in the space as much as possible and the open house is the optimal time for that. They will be seeing the house for the first time beyond the photos and in real life. You can appeal to the senses with most of the points we mentioned above and by combining a few extra components. For example, spray an air freshener or light a scented candle in some of the rooms to add a nice aroma throughout.
Feel free to refer to this as your go-to guide whenever staging a house. Happy staging!
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Kate Anderson is the Marketing Manager of Big City Realty Inc. Brokerage, Canada.