Effective home staging is an art. The right staging and details can mean a quick contract and a high sale price, while poor design choices can turn off buyers, leaving a home to sit on the market for too long, prompting price reductions. As a REALTOR, a properly-staged listing should be a top priority, but sometimes even the most experienced agents can make mistakes that fail to show off a home’s true potential. Here are some of the most common errors real estate agents make when staging a client’s home:

Furniture That Is Too Large

Using oversized furniture, such as large sectional couches or too-big coffee tables can make a room look smaller than it is, and if it’s dark, it can eat up even more visual space. Too much large furniture can also hinder traffic flow and change the way a room photographs. Simple, appropriately-sized furniture in light colors with clean lines can open up and brighten a space while also providing ample space to maneuver around the room.

Not Enough Lighting

Any space looks bigger and better with great lighting. Both natural light and lighting fixtures can make a tremendous impact on the way a house shows and photographs. Take advantage of natural light by avoiding dark or heavy window treatments and opening drapes, shades and blinds to let in lots of sunlight. Floor and table lamps add warm lighting anywhere you need it and can provide a functional decorative focal point, and using the same light bulbs throughout the house can make rooms look more cohesive. Most importantly, don’t forget to turn those lights on for photographs and showings.

Going Too Neutral

Choosing neutral-colored furniture and paint is certainly important to make a space look larger and to appeal to the widest variety of potential buyers, but going overboard with beige and white can make a house look bland or sterile. Bring in pops of color with rugs, pillows, throw blankets, artwork or other accessories. Consider an accent wall with a complementary paint color or removable wallpaper. Appropriate use of color can take a home from boring to sophisticated.

Gendered Rooms

When staging rooms as children’s bedrooms or playrooms, it’s important to not “gender” the space with colors, decor or design styles traditionally associated with boys or girls. Your goal is to allow each potential homebuyer to envision their own future in the space, and bright pink paint or sports-themed wallpaper may turn off a buyer whose children do not fit into that aesthetic. Sticking to neutral tones for walls and furniture and accenting with pops of gender-neutral colors will allow any buyer to see the potential as a space for their own kids. Or, depending on your market demographics, you may want to show the room as a flexible space, without making it too childlike at all.

Forgetting Exterior Spaces

Outdoor living spaces such as patios, balconies and yards are a high priority for many buyers. Making a backyard or porch look inviting as a gathering place lets buyers envision entertaining outdoors or relaxing in their private outdoor oasis. Make sure patio furniture is clean and looks ready to use. Add decorative pillows, potted plants, a hammock or a firepit to make the space inviting. Finally, make sure that the lawn is well manicured and the landscaping looks healthy.

Not Capturing Your Hard Work

Online photos and virtual tours are often a buyer’s first impression of a home. Investing in a skilled photographer or taking the time to select and edit your best photos is worth it if it brings potential buyers through the door.

Not Partnering with a Home Staging Professional

A well-staged home is always in the best interest of any REALTOR, and ultimately, their clients. Partnering with a professional staging company is one way to ensure that your listings show off everything the home has to offer, allowing more buyers to envision themselves living in that space. That leads to more showings, more offers, and happier customers. Call us today at 704-315-5802 to find out how a partnership with Creative Home Stagers can serve you and your clients.