Mistake #1: Overlooking The Closets And Pantries
Organizing and staging your entire home from top to bottom can be quite the undertaking. Some people try to save themselves some time and effort by focusing their staging energies on the main living areas that get the most traffic. However, failing to stage your home's storage areas, such as the closets and pantries, can hurt your sale. Adequate (or preferably abundant) storage is a must-have for many of today's buyers. By decluttering your storage areas, you will be able to make them seem bigger (and, in turn, more appealing).
Mistake #2: Using Fake Flowers Or Food
Many staging experts recommend displaying vases of fresh flowers and bowls of fresh fruit in order to round out your staging efforts, but keeping these items fresh requires constant maintenance. Some people attempt to save themselves some time and effort by opting for fake flowers or fruit, but this often comes across as tacky and can actually hurt your staging efforts. If you do not have the time to maintain fresh flowers or fruit, you will probably be better off omitting them altogether.
Mistake #3: Overstaging
The number one goal of home staging is to create a welcoming, homey environment every potential buyer can visualize as his/her own. Some sellers try to make their home feel so inviting that they overdo it, however. For example, your dining room does not need to be set for an elegant three-course meal. Your home office does not need to be overflowing with desk organizers and file cabinets. Remember that decluttering is the first rule of home staging; your staging efforts should never become so involved that your rooms starts to feel cluttered or cramped.
Mistake #4: Covering Up Any Major Defects Or Problem Areas
Failing to disclose any major defects is not only unethical - it's illegal. It's okay to play up your home's best features when staging it, but don't go so far as to hide or cover up any major issues. Your best bet will be to make any necessary repairs before your home goes on the market, but at the very least, you should always be sure your buyer is aware of the issues. If you do not wish to handle the repair yourself, you may be able to negotiate the cost of the repair into the sale price.
Mistake #5: Leaving Your Home Empty
If you have already moved, you may be tempted to take all of your belongings with you and leave your previous home empty. While this is a common practice, it is not a strategic one. Buyers need to be shown how to use the space; if the home is completely empty, they may not understand what purpose to give the various rooms. Empty rooms also make it difficult for buyers to judge the size of the space, because they don't have any points of reference. Your home doesn't have to be filled with as many items as when you lived in it, but you would be wise to leave some basic furnishings and decorations until it sells.
Mistake #6: Decorating With Controversial Or Personal Items
As the only residents in your home, you and your family will almost definitely spend a great deal of time and effort decorating your home with wall art, knickknacks, and other decor pieces that reflect your personal tastes. When staging, however, it's important to make your decor as neutral as possible. Tuck your family photos out of sight and remove all artifacts that could be deemed controversial, political, or religious. You don't want to miss out on a potential sale simply because your buyer has different preferences than you do.
Mistake #7: Leaving Evidence Of Pets
If you have pets, it may be tempting to leave a clean water bowl or dog bed out as part of your staging efforts. Your pet is a part of the family, after all - shouldn't having their belongings make your home seem even cozier and more inviting? Unfortunately, not every buyer will share the same love for your cat, dog, or parrot as you do. Some buyers do not want to buy a home they know an animal has lived in. In order to appeal to the widest possible range of potential buyers, you should hide all evidence of your pets before every showing.
Mistake #8: Making Your Home Smell Too Strong
Many staging experts talk about the importance of making your home smell good before every showing by baking cookies or burning candles / Scentsys. This can be a great move, but it's important not to overwhelm your buyers with strong scents. As with wall color, neutral is often your best bet. Keep in mind that as you continue to use a particular scent, you will become desensitized to it. What doesn't smell very strong to you could easily overwhelm a buyer who is being exposed to it for the first time.
Fran Campbell Team wishes you the very best of luck in your home staging efforts! If you would like help selling your home in Osage Beach MO or any of the surrounding areas, we hope you'll reach out to one of our experienced real estate agents at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our team would be more than happy to help you sell your home quickly - and find a new one at the same time!
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