“WOAH, AM I BACK IN 1985?” – Home Staging Tips for Realtors

Real estate is often times is a personal experience for buyers and sellers. After all, a home, is a personal expression of a homeowner’s entire life wrapped inside four walls.

While buyers should be more focused on the bones of the home—the things that will stay after the current owner has vacated—staging can often be the difference between a buyer bonanza and a dearth of hot offers. Don’t let your sellers suffer at the hands of poor staging.

It may be challenging, but a little tough love now, will make for a easier sale—after the big offers come flying in. Here are 8 of the biggest staging sins sellers make and how agents can help their sellers avoid these pitfalls before it costs them a sweet deal.

1. Collection Overload.

It’s difficult for almost any hobby or collection to look orderly. Unless the homeowner has attractive, high-end built-in cases to house the collections and the target buyers share a similar affinity for the objects, even the coolest collection can come off as a pile of space-consuming clutter.

2. The ‘lived-in’ look.

When a home is being shown for sale, it must be immaculate, every single time it’s being shown. It should look like no one lives there: no toothbrushes, curling irons, protein shake mixes or paperwork allowed.

Is this difficult to keep up? Absolutely. But you’d be surprised at how bad an impression just a few personal toiletries or dishes can make.

3. Closet cramming.

Out of sight is not out of mind. Home buyers today are desperate for storage space and will undoubtedly open those same, crammed-tight doors in an effort to evaluate how the home ranks for storage. Beautifully organized closets with ample room create an impression in the buyer’s mind that they, too, can have an orderly life in the home. 

4. Failing to stage for all the senses.

A house that smells like pet mayhem or smoke or has a noisily defective heater is a tough house to sell, no matter how beautifully it is staged. Unfortunately, smells and sounds are very easy to get acclimated to, when you live with them. Buyers, though, will detect them the second they walk in—and the moment they do is the moment we in the business call “turn-off time.”

5. Back to The Future

Ultimately, the most shockingly bad of all staging decisions is to have out of date furnishings. Whether it’s the seller’s furniture or the staging company, the furniture and décor need to be up-to-date and current.  This explains several homes I’ve previewed for clients over the course of my career.  Like the one I once viewed which had gaudy curtains from the 1970’s, couches from the 1980’s and a white picnic doily spread across the dining table. 

 On the less bizarre end of the non-staged spectrum, this is how lovely homes with vast potential end up selling at a discount, as cosmetic fixers at a discount. This is a particular tragedy in cases where the owners could have painted, spruced, moved loads of things out and a few newer things in and made much, much more money on their homes.

Here are a collection of photos that illustrate some poor staging choices.

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posted: Nov 20, 2014 | No Responses

Posted by:  Melissa Wakamo

When Melissa Wakamo began her real estate career in 2004, her goal was to focus on her immediate area and get to know her neighbors. "I've had a lot of fun over the years helping my neighbors sell their homes and helping newcomers become a part of our community."

Melissa quickly became one of metro Atlanta's top producing agents and consistently performed in the top 1% of all Atlanta agents. By 2009, Melissa's real estate team had grown to include several agents and support staff, dedicated to providing exceptional service to buyers and sellers in Atlanta's intown neighborhoods.

In 2010, Melissa transitioned Red Robin REALTORS® into an independently owned boutique brokerage. Even in the tough real estate market during that time, Red Robin REALTORS® continued to outperform other small brokerages and was able to help buyers and sellers adapt to the rapid changes in the market.

In 2017, Melissa had the opportunity to merge the Red Robin REALTORS team with another like-minded boutique brokerage, Keller Knapp Realty. The two community-focused organizations bring together more than 100 agents, including 3 of the top 10 agents in metro Atlanta. With offices in Oakhurst, Ormewood Park and Midtown, Keller Knapp Realty and Red Robin REALTORS team are the top boutique real estate firm in Atlanta.

In her role as Managing Broker, Melissa provides agent training, marketing and strategic oversight for the Brokerage, ensuring that the brokerage maintains its focus and commitment to the intown market.

Melissa's active participation in various neighborhood organizations and charitable efforts, as well as her passion for antiques, cooking, and gardening, keep her busy and in touch with the community.

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