3 Staging Mistakes That Deter Buyers

Overloading your walls is a design mistake

Being a home stager is exhilarating and challenging. Because I’m passionate about what I do, I can spot staging tactics that don’t work nearly everywhere I look — online, in-person open houses, etc. (It’s a blessing and a curse, I tell you!)

Some of it makes me cringe, and some makes me giggle. Spaces like this keep my business booming because, without staging, most listing agents will need to start discussing price reductions with their sellers. That’s never a great conversation, and it’s one that can be easily avoided.

Enjoy these foolproof reasons that illustrate why professional home staging is worth the investment.

Photos on wall for home decor and home staging

1. The Problem: Overloaded Walls

This gallery wall in the photo on the left suits the home seller’s tastes and makes the wall space feel all but nonexistent in one fell swoop. Plus, many of the frames are hanging crooked. Ugh!

The proper way to style this wall is shown in the right-hand image. Rather than try to reduce or rearrange the gallery, we often remove the entire gallery wall, fill in the nail holes and repaint, then hang a large art piece. That art is sized correctly for the space (e.g. This art is correctly around 2/3 the width of the sofa and allows for 10″ of wall space between the two).

Growing majority of buyers expect listings to be staged. “Staging the living room was found to be very important for buyers, followed by staging the primary bedroom, and staging the kitchen.”

The National Association of Realtors
Overstyled spaces in home decor and home staging

2. The Problem: Over-styled Spaces

We often see this issue arise in occupied or DIY-staged vacant homes. In the name of making a house feel like home and having the best of intentions, some home sellers will over-style certain spaces (as seen in the photo on the left). This results in making the room feel smaller than it is. Plus, clutter seems to multiply through a camera lens.

The proper way to stage a vignette, or small space, is to carefully select just a few objects, as seen in the image on the right. We curate using texture and intention. What makes this space inviting and usable without deterring buyers? That’s the question home staging can successfully answer.

Sterile aesthetics in home decor and home staging

3. The Problem: Sterile Aesthetics

A primary myth of home staging is that an occupied home should be stripped of all personality and that a vacant home shouldn’t veer too far toward any bold aesthetic direction, as seen in the left-hand photo. This couldn’t be further from the truth. After all, who wants to live in a sterile environment? Spoiler alert: No one.

The proper way to style spaces that too easily feel sterile, such as builder-grade kitchens, is indicated in the image on the right. Wood, ceramic, metal, and plant life have been added to that space, giving it a bit more life. Plus, the photographer correctly focused the camera on the statement backsplash, a feature that many kitchens have. (But if your photographer doesn’t capture it, viewers on MLS will never know!)

Listing a home for sale? We can help you prepare the presentation of your home so that you have beautiful marketing photos.

Price reductions vs. investing wisely in home staging. Because home staging helps listings sell faster and for a higher price, a cost-benefit analysis quickly reveals that you’ll spend less on staging and get greater ROI compared to simply reducing the price of your listing and increasing its time on the market.

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