I'm in hundreds of homes a year and I see the same home staging mistakes over and over, which of course I don't mind since I am there to help the homeowner get the house ready for the photos and for showings.
However, I know many homeowners like to get their houses ready without the help of a professional home stager. With that in mind, I've compiled seven out of the twenty staging mistakes that I see all of the time.
1. Bringing in too many trendy items. For example, displaying distressed items and furniture everywhere for that farmhouse look. Yes, it's popular. No, not everyone likes it. The take-away is to use some of this in a small dose. The goal is that your house is "Transitional." Transitional = trendy + traditional. Another trend is displaying plants. A good rule of thumb is to have one real or faux plant in every room. It's a sign of life, something organic that appeals to everyone. This does not mean seven or eight large plants should be in the kitchen nook alone. Spread the love, or use some of the plants outside. Or, since you'll be moving you might want to give away a few if you're afraid they might die being outside.
2. Neutral Overload. Neutral paint, floors, and big furniture pieces are awesome because you can do so much with them. If everything that you own is also neutral (think brown, tan, gray, beige, etc.) nothing will draw the buyers eye around the room. Stagers use contrast such as blue pillows, blue art, and a blue throw so that the visitor will notice the blue around the room and look from place to place. A local estate sale professional told me that "brown is down." Very few people are attracted to brown things - people are tired of it. So, add some contrast with color - but do it in moderation!
3. Rooms like dark dungeons. Okay, maybe not really dungeons, but the point is...people are drawn to rooms that have a lot of natural light. Take down heavy drapes and make sure the windows are sparkling clean. Make sure all of your lightbulbs are working and that they match. You want people to feel energized and cheerful when they tour your home.
4. Poor furniture placement. Sometimes a few furniture pieces need to be removed in order for the room to feel spacious. Make sure sofas and chairs are close enough together to promote conversation. Don't line up furniture along the walls because it will look like a waiting room. In the bedroom, the bed is the focal point, so try to put the headboard on the largest far wall. Walkways should be about 3 feet wide throughout the home, so eliminate pieces that don't really fit. You want your rooms to feel s p a c i o u s.
5. Neglecting to put away personal items. Buyers don't want to see your dirty laundry, shampoo, razor, toothbrush, picture of Grandma, certificate of CPR training, or your toilet plunger, just to name a few. Pack away any personal photos, and tuck away your toiletry and cleaning products into your cabinets or garage.
6. Neglecting important improvements. Are your wood blinds in working order? Does that molding piece need to be nailed back into place? Is your a/c or heater doing a good job? Does that bold red wall in the entryway need a lighter color of paint? There are a hundred little things that need to be considered when selling your home. You don't want any problem (big or small) to become a price-eroding factor. Go ahead and make your repairs and improvements before you list the house. If you have questions about renovations and return on investment, ask your realtor, or visit my blog post Renovation Projects to Add Value when Selling.
7. Forgetting the little things. Fresh fruit or a plant in the kitchen gives an organic touch and everyone loves that. Set up a minimal looking coffee station with some mugs. Stack some books on nightstands coffee table, or open shelving to warm up the space. Hang fresh towels in the bathroom and don't use them! Sometimes owners pack everything away and then the house feels cold and boring. Don't forget the little things!
What do homeowners want the most when they are trying to sell their houses? Every property owner who sells their home wants to sell it fast and at the highest price possible. And anything that can help them achieve those objectives is welcomed by most owners.
This is why home staging is quickly becoming a standard part of the process of selling a home. As Granite Foundation Repair in Arlington points out, houses that are staged sell faster and for a higher price than homes that are not staged.
Home staging is the strategic use of interior design principles as a tool for marketing houses. Professional home stagers use color, furnishings, layout, and lighting as instruments for enhancing a home to make it more enticing to buyers.
The specific goal in home staging is to transform the space into buyers' idea of their dream home. This is because buyers are more likely to buy a house if they fall in love with it.
One of the ways home stagers make a home more alluring is through the intentional use of colors. A room's colors can make people in that room happy or sad, energetic or lethargic, compassionate, or aggressive. This effect of color is natural and subtle.
People rarely understand that the emotions they feel within a space can be engendered by that room's colors. Most professional home stagers recognize this and know how to use color as a real estate marketing tool.
Why color is powerful
Why do colors affect people? Because light affects people, and color is light. Although we think of color as a tangible attribute of objects around us, color is really the light that is reflected by those objects.
There are several wavelengths or colors of light in white light or sunlight. And those different light colors become visible when they are separated in a rainbow. When white light, composed of different wavelengths, falls on an object, that object does one of three things.
The object may reflect all of the white light back; it may absorb all of the light, or it may reflect one wavelength and absorb the others. When an object reflects a particular wavelength, that object appears to our eyes to take on the reflected wavelength's color.
Like white or dim light, which can make people alert or sleepy, that particular wavelength of light also has its specific effect on the human mind. This is why colors affect people's moods.
Strategic use of colors in home staging
When staging any room, the mood that the stager wants should dictate the specific colors they use in the space. Doing this requires the stager to have a firm grasp of the psychological effect of different colors.
The goal may be to invoke feelings of security, romance, or comfort. Below is a primer on how to use colors when staging a home.
Make the home inviting and create feelings of serenity
Most people find neutral colors appealing; a higher number of buyers will find them reassuring. Using neutral colors - beige, cream, ivory, taupe, gray, or white - is a rule of thumb when staging a home.
Neutrals make the home feel fresh, brightens up its rooms, and creates a sense of spaciousness. Moreover, if buyers want to change the colors, neutrals are easier to paint over. Also, they are easy to match to other colors.
Make the room lively and friendly
Cool colors infuse a sense of peace; they are soothing to the mind and friendly. Using shades of green creates a similar effect to being surrounded by green plants.
It is calming and life-giving because green is the color of nature. Shades of blue produce feelings of strength, stability, and trust. They are calming on the emotions and ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms. Incorporating blue in children's rooms will make the children more creative.
Grab attention with warm colors
.Warm colors are rousing to the emotions and should rarely be used in large quantities when selling a home. Stagers will use "pops" of these colors to add interest and to help guide the buyers' eyes around the room.
If you're redecorating or refreshing a room and NOT putting your house on the market to sell, you can go all out and choose the colors you love!
Red is intense and energizing; it is highly stimulating and arrests the attention. Using red in entryways makes them eye-catching.
Red in kitchens sharpens the appetite. Yellow, orange, and pink also stimulate the mind, but to a lesser degree than red. Yellow lifts the mood makes people cheerful and more vocal. To get an effect midway between the energy of red and the mood-lifting qualities of yellow, use orange.
In conclusion, to get the most from colors, one color is rarely enough inside a room. Instead, different colors should be used to complement and balance the effect of others. And one color might also have undertones of other colors.
Furthermore, the right use of colors is not limited to wall colors only. Using colors to create the right ambiance and evoke the desired emotions should be extended to the colors of furnishings, appliances, and fixtures. The idea when using colors should be to immerse the space so that their effect is inescapable.
Discover other staging tips by jumping over to my blog post called "Top 10 Must-Haves to Stage Your House to Sell."
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