Top Six Home Staging DON’Ts to Avoid

Wednesday Sep 27th, 2023


When you’re selling a home, you only have a few seconds to make an impression and convince buyers to look further. That’s why home staging is so important, especially in a market with tough competition.

Home staging presents your home in its best possible light, and if done right, gives it an advantage over similar homes in the area. But if done wrong, you could actually be turning potential buyers away. So here are six home staging don’ts every seller should be aware of and avoid. 


DON’T Forget the Curb Appeal

Don’t get so wrapped up in staging the inside of the home that you forget about the outside. No matter how beautiful your home is, if it looks unpleasant from the outside, you’ll have a hard time getting people in the door. But if you make the front of your home look welcoming, people will be eager to see more.

Start by ensuring the outside of your home is clean and shows no signs of wear and tear. Rent a pressure washer to clean the exterior of your home and make sure all exterior lights are working. Next, mow the lawn, weed the gardens and trim trees and hedges to make your landscaping look its best. Finally, add seasonal flowers (in pots is OK) to bring color to your front yard or step.


DON’T Leave Personal Items on Display

Home staging is all about making your home appeal to a wider audience. That means leaving personal preferences behind and aiming for a hotel-like atmosphere. It can be challenging for homeowners staging their home to let go of personal attachments and view the property from a buyer’s perspective. Here are five things to pack away before listing your home:

Family photos

Religious artifacts

Laundry (including towels)

Anything that resembles a weapon (even if they don’t work or are replicas)

Large collections


DON’T Let Them Know You Have a Pet

As much as you love your four-legged family member, not everyone is OK with animals in the house. Someone who isn’t an animal lover might consider a home with pets to be dirty or smelly without even giving the home a chance. Vacuum all pet hair, pack up beds, bowls, toys, and leashes, and keep your furry friends out of the house during showings. This can be a lot of work and stressful for some pets, so you may want to have them stay elsewhere for a few days.


DON’T Let Odors Linger

Unpleasant smells are an instant turn-off for almost everyone. And strong air fresheners can actually make people with scent sensitivities feel sick. Your best defense against unwanted odors is to clean thoroughly rather than try to cover them up. Once everything is clean, there are a few ways to help keep the air fresh.

Use baking soda near problem areas like garbage cans, closets and bathrooms. You can also sprinkle it on carpets and furniture to lift lingering odors from spills and pet accidents. But if your carpets are older or you have smokers in the house, it’s worth having them professionally cleaned.

Keep windows open as much as possible and refrain from cooking anything with a strong scent the days before a showing. Take out the garbage often, and don’t leave laundry out in the open. You can also simmer a pot of water with lemon slices or cinnamon sticks to give the air a pleasant scent.


DON’T Neglect Minor Repairs

Not many people are looking to buy a house that needs work. Even little things like a loose knob or leaky faucet can look like a project to some buyers. Take the time to fix all the little things you might have neglected, so your home looks well-maintained.


DON’T Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Home staging is a lot of work, and even though you can perform many of the tasks yourself, the reality is that you may not have time to get it all done. So, go ahead and hire a handyman, cleaning service or painter to help lighten the load. Selling and showing a home can be stressful enough without adding a mountain of extra tasks to your list.

You want your home to sell quickly and for the best possible price. Avoid these top six home staging don’ts to help buyers fall in love with your home.

By Jody Scully

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