A Veteran Home Stager: How to Avoid the Top 5 Common Staging Mistakes

Lots of Befores and Afters below.

I only have two goals when staging a house to sell:

#1 Completely ready and transform a property into a show-stopping, heart-warming, offer-producing dream home.
#2 Give the owners not only their dream home, but what they thought they paid for at closing, which reflects well on the sellers, listing company, and especially on the REALTORs.

I've been doing this for 16 years and have staged hundreds of houses
(which equals thousands of rooms!),
and this list comprises the main reasons that some houses sit on the market longer than
professionally and well-staged and prepared homes.


The most common reason I hear for peoples' reasons to move is "more space".
So, if you're showing your your house in cluttered, not-enough-storage condition,
you're just proving to the buyer that there's not enough room for them either.
Simplify it.
(Use the AFTERS in this post to give you an idea of just how simplifed it should be.)
Now's also the time to get nitpicky clean.
Cinderella-scrubbing-the-floor-so-she-can-go-to-the-ball clean.
Check lampshades and vacuum them, check toilet seats and replace them if they are um, nasty.
Clean ceiling fans and air vents, remove grime, mold, and stains.


A stinky home is a real turn-off.
Just like a cluttery home, a smelly home sends a message to buyers:
"unclean", unmaintained", "unhealthy", and "unbearable".
If you have pets or smoke, cook heavily-oiled or fishy meals, or have dampness anywhere,
the effects of these need to be eliminated or removed.


In order for a buyer to fall in love with house, they have to envision THEMSELVES in it,
and the lifestyle THEY can have in it.
The last thing you want to do is have them feel as if they are in their own home.
A listed home needs to feel like a respite, relaxing, carefree, and kinda unreal.
I always say that creating a highly desired home is 10% surface changes and 90% emotional changes.
To sell to a buyer, you must get to the emotions of a buyer.
Encourage them to feel "at home" by eliminating (as best you can) the reasons it's still YOUR home.

Do this by:
Keeping shoes, clothing, personals hidden
Removing photographs, initials, and anything with a family members name on it
Hide toothbrushes and keep sinks empty
Not giving clues as to who lives in the house
Keep it spotless


The way we live in our home and they way we sell our home is two different things.
Through the years, we all spend money and time making our house a home, 
so of course, it's going to reflect our styles and tastes.
We are making it our own private space.
Decor is a very personal choice, and buyers in today's market want Move-In ready properties.
(Unless they like DIY projects, but this is few and far-between.)
To most buyers, potential and painting = work, or added hassle after moving in.
So make it easy for them to visualize life in your home by neutralizing the decor. 
I've noticed this: a seller's personality in their home does one or both of these things:
it distracts buyers from feeling at home, and makes them uncomfortable, 
as if they are invading your privacy.


Everything should function properly and be in working order. 
Make sure you repair leaky faucets, cracked windows, loose doorknobs, 
broken tile, as well as replace any light bulbs that don’t work.
Don't leave buyers with surprises.
Don't give inspectors more things to add to your TO DO list.

The process of selling your home can, without a doubt, be stressful,
eliminate most of the reasons you'll have to keep showing your home over and over again
(without receiving an offer) 
by, at the bare minimum, avoiding these common mistakes.

Better yet,
contact us at The Hoyt Team of Keller Williams Realty
here in Greenville/Upstate South Carolina,
and let me stage with and for you!

Our average days on market are 3 to 5!
YES. I typed THREE to FIVE.

Another fun and interesting fact:
the average sales price to net price ratio 

for other Greenville agents is 97%.
Meaning, if your home is listed for $100,000,
other agents will get you $97,000.

Our average sales price to net price ratio is 102%.
We'd get you $102,000 on your $100,000 house.

More $ for your house is good, right?

Put us to work for you!

Call us at 864-365-6155

Blessings and peace to you as you make your home!


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