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What NOT to Do When Staging Your Home to Sell

Just about every home seller has heard of staging—making your home into a pristinely clean, immaculately decorated, and altogether enviable showroom-worthy model home. But while decorating and rearranging furniture might seem like a fun project, it’s definitely possible to not do enough—or to go overboard on staging your home!

The Definitely-Don’ts of Staging Your Home

wrong way sign

Staging is not the same as decorating a house—the latter being a personal statement about your own tastes and preferences and the former almost exactly the opposite. Staging a home is actually all about simplicity.

But it’s easy to fall into the “decorator” mindset and get carried away with the adornments—or to skip some of the less-fun initial steps (like cleaning). So, before you launch into a full home remodel, here are some things you don’t want to do when staging your home to sell.

DON’T Forget to declutter first

a desk full of clutter

Any decor, painting, or other sprucing-up you do will mean nothing if it’s hidden behind piles of paper, old clothes, unused toys, or boxes of who-knows-what. If you want your home to impress buyers, you’ve got to clear out the clutter so said buyers can actually see and appreciate it.

DON’T Neglect to clean

cleaning before staging a home

Like clutter, dirt, dust, and cobwebs can obscure your home’s best features—and be a major deterrent to buyers. If you do no other decorating, cleaning can still make a big difference to your home’s overall appearance.

DON’T Stray from simplicity

a complex painting on a wall

Don’t fall prey to the thinking that more decor = a more impressive house! In fact, when staging, live by the words “less is more” and keep it simple. Remove before adding, and only add for good reason, like bringing a little color to a dull room or accenting an otherwise overlooked feature.

DON’T Overpersonalize

personal photos on the fridge

While family photos, knickknacks and memorabilia, and kids’ artwork and awards are a great way to make your home feel like home, they’re NOT such a great way to help buyers visualize their lives in your home. And ultimately, that’s what you want to do—get buyers to fall in love with the idea of moving their lives into this new home. So do yourself a favor (remember, less is more!) and nix the personalizations.

DON’T Think “theme” rooms are a good idea

staging a home to sell

That’s not to say a color palette isn’t a good idea (it is), but taking your “theme” out of the paint and into the decor can quickly go awry. If your “beach theme” strays from pale blues and off-white furniture to an umbrella on the ceiling, you might have gone too far. If your tan-and-wood “western” room contains a saddle, you might have gone too far. If your sage-and-yellow “forest” room contains actual trees, too far.

DON’T Choose bold colors

primary colors of paint

Bold colors are a great way to make a statement, add some pizazz, and really bring an edgy decor flair into a room. Unfortunately, none of those are anything you really want to be doing with your staging. So keep those colors light, neutral, and pleasing (or at least unoffensive) to all.

DON’T Overlook the outside

mowing the lawn

Don’t get so caught up in your interior decorating that you forget to take a peek outside! In fact, you might want to start with the exterior of your home, since it’s the first thing a buyer will see when they pull up. So take a step outside (it’s a good excuse to enjoy some beautiful weather, too!) and do a little cleaning up, raking up, trimming up, mowing (down), and maybe some planting, too.

DON’T Forget about your agent!

talking to a real estate agent

Not sure where to start the whole staging process? Not much of an interior decorator? Hey, there’s a reason home stagers and decorators have jobs! If you need help—or even if you feel pretty good about your decor choices—it’s a good idea to check in with your agent. We know what buyers are looking for, and we know what sells homes!

Need Professional Staging or Selling Advice?

If you’re thinking of selling a home in Central Ohio, my real estate team and I are here to help! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get your home looking fantastic and ready to sell for top dollar. Uncertain how your real estate goals might have been affected by the COVID-19 health crisis? We’d be happy to chat about any concerns!

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