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Don’t Make These Staging Mistakes When Selling Home

When selling your home, you want to ensure it looks its best. You want to spend less on staging, but some things are worth investing in to ensure your house sells quickly and for top dollar. Here’s a list of nine common mistakes that sellers make when preparing their homes for sale:


Don’t try to do it all yourself.

You can use online resources and books, but you need a professional’s advice and guidance to help you get the best price for your home. When it comes to staging, there are some things that you can do on your own—and there are others that require professionals.


The right professional will understand how each room in your home works together and what kind of staging would be most effective for each space. They’ll also be able to advise on how much time and money should be invested in specific areas of your house before putting it up for sale.


When hiring a professional, look at their education history and references from previous clients who’ve used their services before. This will show whether or not they have experience in the field and knowledge about real estate laws. It could come into play if anything goes wrong during escrow.


Not following the 3-2-1 Rule.

The 3-2-1 Rule helps you decide what to keep and get rid of. It’s based on the idea that you should have three pieces of furniture for every two rooms in your house—or, conversely, two pieces of furniture for every three rooms.


For example: If you have a living room, dining room, kitchen, and 2 bedrooms (4 total rooms), then according to the 3-2-1 Rule, you should have 6 pieces of furniture: 3 in each room plus 1 extra piece for an additional guest spot (if needed). Don’t worry about getting rid of everything. Just follow this basic guideline as you go through your home.


Failing to depersonalize

Failing to depersonalize the home is one of the most common staging mistakes. The last thing you want is for your potential buyer to think that they will have to live with all your personal touches and decorating choices.


This involves removing photos and personal items from the walls, removing things that are not essential to the room’s purpose, removing items that are not part of the room’s decor, and removing items that are not in good condition.


Ignoring the front door and entryway

Ignoring the front door and entryway as you stage your home can be a huge mistake. In most cases, this is the first thing buyers see when they arrive at the property—so it must make a good impression. The front door should look clean and in good repair, with no peeling paint or loose fixtures. Make sure there isn’t any clutter on either side of the entranceway since this could deter buyers from entering further into your home. If you have any plants outside your house, ensure they’re watered regularly, so they don’t appear dead while prospective buyers are touring your home!


Staging with too much furniture

  • When staging a room, you want to make it feel spacious and open. The space can look cluttered if there are fewer pieces of furniture in a particular room.

  • The furniture should be comfortable and inviting for guests to sit on when they visit your home.

  • The furniture must be large enough for people to comfortably move around on. However, it shouldn’t take up so much space that it takes away from the overall feeling of spaciousness you want while giving tours of your home. The same applies to smaller pieces such as chairs and coffee tables. These should not dominate an area but still provide needed visual interest for buyers (and their families) to feel comfortable spending time in this space during their visits.

  • Make sure all surfaces are clean—including walls and floors!

Hiding problem areas

  • Don’t try to hide problem areas. If you have a site that needs work, either make the necessary repairs or feature them as part of your home’s charm. For example, consider replacing the flooring and shower surround before showings if you have a bathroom with dated fixtures and a cracked tile floor. The buyer may still want to do some renovations after buying your home but will be surprised by what they see when they get there!

  • Clean your home from top to bottom. You want buyers to feel like they can move right in, so ensure everything is spotless—including indoor and outdoor areas (think exterior walls). You don’t want any stains on carpets, furniture, or cobwebs hanging around either; dust away all evidence that children live in the house!

Neglecting home maintenance

Home maintenance is one of the most important factors when selling your home. It’s one of the top three things that buyers look for in a house. According to a survey by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, over half of all buyers surveyed said they would not buy a home with visible maintenance issues like cracked steps or chipped paint on exterior walls.

Ensure to keep up with regular maintenance such as cleaning gutters and windowsills, washing down pool surfaces every other week during summer months, and ensuring everything is nice and tidy around the outside area of your property.


Dirty, stained, or worn carpets, curtains, and upholstery.

Carpets, curtains, and upholstery should be clean, stain-free, and in good condition.

Curtains should be clean, ironed, and hung straight. Curtains that are too long for the window or have a pattern that is too busy will not help your home sell faster.

Curtains with bright colors or patterns tend to detract from the appearance of your home rather than add to it when staging your house for sale.


Outdated light fixtures, curtain rods, and hardware.

Here are some staging mistakes you should avoid when selling your house.


  • Outdated light fixtures, curtain rods, and hardware. Replace old light fixtures with something more modern and attractive. If you have traditional-style windows, choose a curtain rod that matches your window treatments to create a cohesive look in each room.

  • Chipped paint or peeling wallpaper borders all around the house can make buyers wonder what’s hidden behind them or if they can get rid of these things later on if they decide to move into an unaltered home. Sellers should wait until after closing for any renovations so buyers don’t have extra costs associated with cosmetic fixes before moving in themselves!

  • If there are stains on walls or floors, clean them up before staging begins (or hire someone who knows how). Staging requires plenty of elbow grease, but it’s worth it because no one wants dirty walls or floors when looking at houses online. This goes back again, too, while cleaning up areas where pets regularly go, like kitchens/bathrooms, especially near doors where food might be dropped often throughout the day.”

Forgetting curb appeal.

The front of your house is the first thing people see when they pull up to your property. Make sure it looks good and inviting. The following items should be kept in good condition:

  • Mowed lawn with no weeds or debris

  • Trimmed bushes and shrubs

  • Clean walkways, steps, sidewalks, and driveway (no cracks)

You can add some plants, flowers, or a small garden to enhance curb appeal. If you have a fence, make sure it’s painted or stained so that it doesn’t need to be repainted when you sell your home.


Neglecting the exterior of your home.

  • Make sure the exterior of your home is clean, tidy, and in good condition.

  • Ensure the landscaping is well maintained.

  • Make sure there are no leaves on the driveway, walkways, or debris from your gutters hanging over them.

  • Ensure that your roof has no leaks and that all gutters are debris-free.

You can do several things to ensure your house doesn’t look abandoned or overly lived in that will help sell your home.

  • Keep your home clean and tidy

  • Furniture where it belongs

  • Lighting that’s appropriate for the time of day your home is shown

  • A color scheme that works well with your furniture, accessories, and plants

  • Accents that enhance the decor of each room

It may seem like a lot to take on, but staging your home is a wise investment in the long term. Not only will it help you sell your home faster and for more money, but you’ll also be able to avoid the hassle of moving if you decide to move at some point down the road.

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