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Top 10 of 20 Mistakes When Staging

Home staging is quickly becoming a necessity and an integral part of selling real estate. Gone are the days when staging was simply an option; in today’s tough real estate market proper staging is the only way to set your house apart from the competitors down the street or in the same neighbourhood. Overall, staging follows some simple and proven techniques to maximize the appeal of your home to the greatest number of buyers. However, despite the theoretical simplicity of the staging concept, there are quite a few common mistakes that undermine the success of staging and a potentially successful sale of your home.

Here are top 20 common mistakes that sellers make when preparing their house for sale. You should keep these in mind if you’re thinking of or getting ready to sell your house:

 1.  Don’t neglect the clutter. What might seem like clean and organized to you, might not translate the same to others. Make sure to tour the house top to bottom by enlisting a friend or the help of a professional stager that will give you an honest opinion about what needs to go and what can stay.

2. Don’t do any major renovations.This is not the time to splurge on expensive renovations and replacing all appliances. Smart investment dollars can go a long way in creating the desired, updated look. Sometimes simple things like adding an attractive backsplash in the kitchen, replacing the faucets, light fixtures, hardware and door handles, and painting the walls a warm but neutral colour can go a long way. To finish of the look, it is important to bring in attractive accessories that will compliment the rest of the space and add warmth.

3.  Don’t block light & views. Natural light is extremely important and blocking it off with heavy curtains or bulky pieces of furniture is false economy. Especially if you’ve got attractive views, instead of hiding them – make them the focal point, and see the positive result it has on the buyers.

 4 .  Don’t paint with dark, intense and custom colours. Now is not the time to bring in your personal taste to the table. Choose a nice, neutral and warm colour, such as any of the following families: beige tones, grey tones, or light blue or pale greens. You’ll be surprised at the transformative effect a few coats of fresh paint will have on your space!

5.  Don’t take it personally. When you make the decision to sell your house, you have to realize that now is the time to emotionally detach from your home and think of it as a product. The same way that products in a store are marketed, your house will have to be treated with the same marketing strategies in order to secure a successful sale. It can be a very emotional and difficult time letting go of your beloved home, but you have got to keep the bigger picture in mind, and think that you will create more amazing memories in your new house.

6.  Don’t stay at the house during showings. It can be quite awkward and uncomfortable for buyers to have you around, as they will not feel comfortable to voice their honest opinion in your presence. Make sure to leave the house for all the showings and trust that the realtor will do a proper job at showing your house.

7.  Don’t leave your pets around during showings. This goes along the same lines of not taking it personally. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone loves animals, and some people might either be allergic or afraid of them and therefore, some will even refuse to walk into the house, knowing there is a certain creature in there. So take them away on a mini adventure during showings, and make sure that all the pet odors have been eliminated as well.

8.  Don’t think the house will sell itself. Real Estate is like a game in any market, and especially in today’s market conditions, you have got to implement some preparation strategies if you want to sell quick and for maximum profit. So de-clutter, de-personalize, clean, make all the small repairs, paint if you have to and overall create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Make sure to take some attractive photos for online listings, as that is the first step most buyers take when starting their search. Read this post and learn How To Take Magazine-Style Photos for Online Listings.

9.  Don’t over-stage and over-accessorize. It is easy to get carried away when decorating, but the thing to remember is that there is a huge difference between decorating and staging to sell. A few, well thought out accessories in key places is all you need. No need to fill the tub with bubbling water and sprinkle bath salts in order to create a spa feeling. Instead, a few candles, fresh towels and minimal bath accessories will do the trick!

 10.  Don’t buy all new furniture. If you current furniture pieces are not working because they’re outdated and unattractive, there is other ways of going about it. You can always ask to borrow friends’ or relatives’ furniture for the time being, or rent furniture items while you’re selling. The problem sometimes can also be that there is just too much of big and bulky pieces, and a simple rearranging of key pieces and removing the rest will make all the difference.

To be continued…

Source: Design & Stage, 8/22/09

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