Virtual Staging Tips
June 1, 2024

10 Common Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

7 min read

Home staging is crucial in preparing a property for sale. It significantly impacts how quickly and profitably a home sells. By presenting the house in the best possible light, staging helps potential buyers envision themselves living there. 

However, homeowners often make common mistakes that can detract from a property's appeal. This blog post will cover the top ten home staging mistakes and offer practical solutions to avoid them, ensuring your home attracts the right buyers and sells faster and for a higher price.

What Is Home Staging?

What Is Home Staging

Home staging involves decorating and arranging a home to highlight its best features, making it more attractive to potential buyers. It goes beyond cleaning and decluttering; it's about creating an inviting atmosphere that appeals to a broad audience. 

Effective home staging can turn a good listing into a great one, helping buyers connect emotionally with the property. Following the home staging process can significantly enhance your home's appeal and attract potential buyers. 

10 Common Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake 1: Ignoring Professional Photography 

When selling your home, one of the most important factors to consider is how it is presented to potential buyers. A crucial element of this presentation is the quality of the photographs used in your listing. 

High-quality photos can attract more interest and make your home stand out, while poor photography can have the opposite effect, discouraging potential buyers from even taking a second look. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  •  If the photos of your home are not transparent or appealing, potential buyers may quickly move on to other listings.
  •  A professional knows how to highlight your home's best features and make it look its best, which is crucial in the home selling process.
  •  Proper staging and attention to detail in the photos can make your home more attractive and inviting to a potential buyer, helping you avoid some of the biggest home staging mistakes.

Tips: Make sure rooms are well-lit, remove personal items, and stage each space to highlight its best features.

Mistake 2: Skimping on Lighting

Lighting plays a vital role in creating a welcoming atmosphere in your home. Less lighting can make your home appear dreary and uninviting, which can deter potential buyers. 

On the other hand, proper lighting can highlight your home's best features and make it feel bright and spacious. Ensuring your home is well-lit is essential in making it appealing to buyers.

Here are some key points to consider:

  •  A dimly lit home can seem unwelcoming and smaller than it is.
  •  Maximize the use of natural light by opening curtains and blinds and supplementing it with artificial lights where needed.
  • Remove heavy drapes and use light-colored curtains.

Tips: Add lamps in darker corners, use mirrors to reflect light, and keep windows clean to maximize natural light.

Mistake 3: Poor Furniture Placement

How you arrange your furniture can significantly impact the feel and functionality of your home. Incorrect furniture layout can disrupt the natural flow of a space and make rooms look awkward or cramped. 

Properly arranged furniture enhances the aesthetic appeal and makes your home feel more inviting and comfortable. Paying attention to furniture placement is essential for creating a welcoming environment that potential buyers will love.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Incorrectly placed furniture can disrupt the flow and make spaces look awkward.  
  •  Ensure there is a natural, accessible path through each room, making it simple to navigate and avoiding the problem of too much furniture.
  • Keep furniture away from walls and ensure it complements the space size. 

Tips: Create conversation areas, use rugs to define spaces, and ensure enough room to walk around comfortably.

Mistake 4: Over-Decorating with Small Items

Decorating your home can make it more appealing to potential buyers. However, over-decorating with numerous small items can backfire, making your space look cluttered and chaotic.

A well-balanced approach to decor can highlight your home's best features and create an inviting atmosphere. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Cluttered spaces can feel overwhelming and distract from the overall beauty of your home.
  • Larger pieces create a cleaner, more streamlined appearance, helping to highlight the room's best features.
  • Carefully selected decor can tie a room together, making it feel harmonious and visually appealing.

Tips: Group items in threes, use larger statement pieces, and avoid overly personal items.

Mistake 5: Not Considering How the Home Will Photograph

When preparing your home for sale, it's crucial to consider how it will look in photographs. The arrangement of furniture and decor may look great in person, but it might not translate well in pictures. 

Since many buyers first encounter your home through online photos, ensuring it photographs well is essential to attract interest. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • What works in real life might not have the same impact in pictures, potentially diminishing your home's appeal.
  • Stage furniture around focal points like windows and fireplaces
  • Proper photo staging can make your home more inviting and attractive to potential buyers online.

Tips: Take test photos, adjust decor to enhance focal points, and ensure rooms look balanced in pictures.

Mistake 6: Going Too Minimalistic

While minimalism is a popular trend in home decor, going too minimalistic when selling your home can have drawbacks. An overly sparse space can feel cold and uninviting, potentially turning off potential buyers. 

Adding a touch of warmth and texture can make your home feel more welcoming and lived-in. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  •  An overly minimalistic approach can create a space that lacks personality and warmth.
  • Throw pillows, rugs, and blankets to add warmth and texture. These elements can make a room feel cozy and inviting without overwhelming it.
  •  Combining minimalism with a few well-chosen accessories can create a home that appeals to buyers.

Tips: Use soft furnishings in neutral tones, add plants for life and color, and incorporate cozy textures.

Mistake 7: Using Out-of-Scale Art

Selecting the suitable artwork is crucial for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home. Using art pieces that are out of scale can disrupt the balance of a room, making it feel awkward or incomplete. 

Appropriately scaled artwork can tie a room together and make it more visually pleasing, creating a more inviting atmosphere for potential buyers. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Mismatched art can make a space feel disjointed and less harmonious.
  • Ensuring your art is proportionate to the wall helps maintain the room's balance and aesthetic appeal.
  • Selecting pieces that match the room's scale enhances the overall look and makes the space feel more cohesive.

Tips: Hang art at eye level, use a mix of sizes, and create gallery walls with a cohesive theme.

Mistake 8: Neglecting Curb Appeal

First impressions are crucial when selling your home; the exterior is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Neglecting curb appeal can immediately make your home less attractive, impacting a buyer's interest and perception.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • A well-kept lawn and garden can make your home look inviting and well-cared-for.
  • Adding furniture can help buyers visualize themselves enjoying the outdoor areas.
  • These small additions can enhance the overall appearance and charm of your home's exterior.

Tips: Keep the lawn mowed, paint the front door, and ensure the entryway is clean and welcoming.

Mistake 9: Not Decluttering

Decluttering is an essential step when preparing your home for sale. Clutter can be distracting and make it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living in the space. 

A clean and organized home feels more spacious and inviting, helping buyers to see its full potential. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Excess items, including family photos and personal memorabilia, can overwhelm the senses and prevent buyers from appreciating the home's features.
  •  A tidy home appears more spacious and well-maintained, making a positive impression. Consider minimizing the amount of own furniture to create a more open feel.
  • Smart storage spaces can help keep your home neat and make it easier for buyers to see its true potential, emphasizing the available storage space in your home.

Tips: Store own belongings out of sight, keep countertops clear, and use baskets or bins for quick organization.

Mistake 10: Overlooking the Importance of Fresh Paint

Fresh paint can make a significant difference when selling your home. Old or bold paint colors can be off-putting to potential buyers, making it harder for them to envision themselves in the space. 

A fresh coat of paint in neutral, light colors can enhance the appeal of your home, making it feel larger, brighter, and more inviting. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Unattractive or outdated colors can distract from your home's best features.
  • Neutral tones are universally appealing and can make rooms look more spacious and welcoming, making all the difference in attracting buyers.
  •  A simple update with new paint can create a clean, modern look that attracts buyers.

Tips: Choose timeless shades, touch up trim and doors, and consider painting over wallpaper.

Enhance Your Home Sale with Virtual Restaging!

Enhance Your Home Sale with Virtual Restaging!

Avoiding common home staging mistakes such as neglecting professional photography, poor lighting, and clutter can significantly enhance your home's appeal. By implementing solutions like hiring a professional photographer, using a combination of lighting, and maintaining a clutter-free environment, you can better prepare your property for the market. 

Share your staging tips or mistakes you've encountered to help others in their home-selling journey. Remember, seeking professional staging help can make a big difference in showcasing your home's best features. 

Consulting with a real estate agent or professional home stagers can further optimize your staging efforts and increase your home's market appeal. Additionally, consider Virtual Restaging to transform your vacant photos into warm and inviting spaces, helping you sell faster and for more money.  


Which of the following is a top 10 staging mistake? 

Ignoring professional photography is a common staging mistake, as it can significantly reduce buyer interest. High-quality photos are essential to showcase the home's best features and attract potential buyers.

What are the rules of staging? 

The essential staging rules include decluttering, using neutral colors, and ensuring good lighting. Additionally, arranging one's own furniture to enhance flow and focusing on curb appeal are crucial elements of effective home staging.

What are the disadvantages of staging? 

One disadvantage of staging is the cost, as hiring professionals and renting furniture can be expensive. Another downside is the time and effort required to maintain the staged look throughout the selling process.

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