Four home staging mistakes to avoid at all costs

Among his other pieces of wisdom, the Dalai Lama once offered an important modicum of advice that easily applies to interior design: "home is wherever you feel at home." Creating a welcoming environment where visitors and house viewers immediately feel at ease, as if they were already in their own property, is what home staging is all about, and it's not as simple as many sellers think.

Here's our list of the four home staging mistakes most commonly committed, as well as some practical tips to help you get the most from the sale of your property.

1. Overusing colour

The colour scheme of your interiors forms the backdrop to your daily life, and the base from which the rest of your decorating extends from. Your wall and curtain shades have been chosen by you to fit into your personal image of 'home', but rarely do two people have the same picture in mind. Therefore, when the time comes to sell, the criteria for your interior palette changes.

One of the most common home staging mistakes is to throw neutrality to the wind and select bold, statement hues for your interiors. The solution is to keep your décor simple and neutral when you begin home staging. Those buyers who want to add their own bright colours can do so after the completion date.

2. Being too personal

There's more to idiosyncratic interior design than just a vivid paint palette. If your viewers are going to visualise themselves living in your house, they can't do so with all of your family photos, trinkets and personal items cluttering the shelves and counter tops. Prevent these home staging mistakes obstructing a sale and begin packing away your possessions early to make your property feel as spacious and open to re-interpretation as possible.

3. Forgetting the great outdoors

Even if you turn your interiors into an inviting blank slate for your visitors, there's still a whole other dimension of your property to utilise. Your garden or yard might be one of the first things buyers see as they drive up to your home, and the size and level of maintenance required for their upkeep all plays a substantial role during a sale.

Therefore, it's time to apply some home staging tips to your outdoor areas. Plant flowering bulbs that come out during viewing season and keep all your trees and bushes well-pruned. If you're selling a rural family home, turn a section of the garden into a vegetable patch to create an image for your viewers of a potential wholesome lifestyle that they could have if they bought your property.

4. Overlooking lighting

When conducting viewings during winter or in the evenings, it's vital that lighting is considered as part of your home staging techniques. Rather than blanching your interiors with white lights, try placing a minimum of three different sources about each room and on different levels, and pick bulbs that emit a warm, golden glow.

Home staging mistakes aren't always easy to spot, and can sometimes depend on the idiosyncrasies of your home. For a successful sale, consult an experienced real estate agent who can provide you with ample home staging tips for your property. Enlisting the help of an expert is crucial for spotting any last minute deterrents before your prospective buyers come knocking at your door. An agent will also be able to advise you on how to value your property.

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