Getting a home ready for its prime-time listing debut can be an exciting, busy time for you and your clients. Presenting a home in its best light for listing photos, videos, and showings can create a lot of pressure and anxiety, especially when clients are still living there. Whether your sellers are using a professional service or staging the home themselves, here are six common mistakes to avoid:
1. Blocking traffic flow
While one of the objects of home staging is to make rooms appear spacious, arranging furniture so that it’s hard to enter a room or to move around freely is a mistake. Keep traffic patterns in mind when placing furniture and remove pieces if they block doorways or impede movement and flow. Avoid placing furniture in front of windows, too, which can look awkward and block natural light.
2. Forgetting to stage the closets
Ample storage can be a big selling point, so remember to stage a home’s closets and rooms. Clothes closets should be well-organized and uncrowded, so pack up or store shoes or clothing that pack the space too tightly. If needed, paint closet walls and thoroughly clean flooring or carpet. Neatly arrange linen closets and pantries to make them look as roomy and accommodating as possible.
3. Paring down too much
While removing clutter and personal objects can be a good idea when staging a property, completely stripping rooms of accessories and details can leave a sterile, uninviting environment. Be sure to leave ample lamplight, especially in rooms without overhead fixtures. A few simple decorations in each room can add color and interest.
4. Gender-specific rooms
If possible, avoid decorating bedrooms and bathrooms, specifically for one gender. That’s because you want prospective buyers to be able to picture their families living in the home. When lookers see neutral décor, they may be more likely to see the rooms working for their family members.
5. Overlooking pretty views
A home doesn’t have to have a sweeping vista to capitalize on a pretty view. Open window treatments and position furniture to show off a pretty garden, flowering shrubbery, a graceful tree, or a charming gate. Take advantage of attractive interior views, too, such as a welcoming fireplace, a decorated bookcase, or an interesting piece of artwork.
6. Not including a home warranty
Did you know that home warranty coverage can help you stage a property? For example, when a placard or brochure is left out alerting sellers that an American Home Shieldâ home warranty is included in the transaction, prospective buyers and their agents will appreciate the added value that the coverage brings. Buyers will know they won’t have to worry about covered repairs or replacements during the contract period, which will help protect their budgets and give them the confidence to proceed with an offer. They’ll also know that a ready repair resource will be at their fingertips for covered malfunctions.
When staging a home, it’s also a good idea to avoid décor that is too trendy. Instead, focus on timeless pieces of furniture and soothing color palettes for accessories and artwork. Remember to include items that can make the home look comfortable and ready to be used, such as simple table settings, towels stacked in the bathrooms, a book on the nightstand, or a cozy throw across the back of a sofa or chair.
For more helpful information from our partners at American Home Shield, check out their blog.