Top Staging Don'ts

Preparing a home for the market entails many things. Don't get overwhelmed by the details, and begin by fixing these 7 avoidable staging blunders.
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Less is usually more in home staging. Keep decor simple, and definitely dismantle theme rooms. This beach-themed bedroom, complete with umbrella, does not make me want to buy this house or take a vacation.

Don't overpersonalize your decor. If you know your house is going on the market in the next few years, be mindful of design choices when you remodel, or you could decrease your pool of buyers. Don't choose a countertop with grape details, for example. HGTV fan Carolynar replaced this vineyard-inspired look along with her outdated cabinets.

If your house is going on the market, seriously consider every surface in your home, especially walls and floors. Think neutral. This bedroom is the opposite of neutral. When potential buyers view your home, you don't want them considering how much time and money it will take to paint over a blindingly yellow room or to replace red shag carpet.

Need inexpensive ways to prepare your home for the market? Clean, clean, clean. Scrub everything. Rent a carpet shampooer if necessary. The small investment and resulting sweet smell is worth every penny! While you're at it, declutter! Get started packing and fill boxes with knickknacks and more.

If you do nothing else to prepare your house for the market, tend to your yard. Rake the leaves. Clean up flower gardens. Trim shrubs. Sweep your sidewalks and porches. You don't want to lose any showings because drive-by shoppers can't get past the mess at the curb.

Even if you have overlooked needed home repairs for years, potential buyers will see every one of them. Fix that cracked window pane. Replace the broken doorknob. Paint the fence. A little sweat equity goes a long way in real estate.

Don't misuse spaces: Bedrooms should be bedrooms, not closets or catchall rooms. Patios should be staged as relaxing outdoor spaces, not left empty or as toy storage. Who knew this cluttered space is an entryway? Certainly not potential buyers. And not a good first impression!

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