There’s a fine line between presenting your home for sale to enhance its highlights and over-staging your home.
What sells a house? A home that is well presented, well priced and effectively marketed will sell.
So to sell your home, make sure that you have:
- Undertaken thorough and objective research into what your property is worth, to ensure you’re well priced
- Enlisted the expertise of a good estate agent
- Presented your property so that its highlights are showcased and buyers can inspect it without distractions.
Gone are the days where a simple de-clutter and clean is all that is needed to present your home for sale. Buyers are more and more sophisticated and expect a much higher level of presentation than ever before. But there’s a fine line between presenting your home for sale to enhance its highlights and slipping into cheesy magazine spread territory.
What’s wrong with over-staging?
When you cross the line between presenting a well maintained and inviting space and presenting a home that has cliché after cliché, you run the risk of polarising your buyers. You’ll distract them so much with all your presentational theatre, and they’ll neglect to see all the amazing things your property has to offer. And they may even get suspicious that you have something to hide, because they see the ‘performance’ rather than the property just looking its best.
To help you avoid these problems, here’s some of the top staging clichés to be avoided.
1. Filling the bath with water, bubbles or rose petals
No one wants to see a bathtub filled with petals in their potential new home. Perfectly fine for a hotel or day spa. A touch inappropriate for a home under the microscope by a parade of strangers.
2. Roses and champagne on the bed
Champagne and petals on the bed are a no no when it comes to staging a home for sale. Indecent proposal indeed. Again, touches like this are lovely for special occasions, but are overkill for your average home inspection. Focus on showing off the bedroom at its best, not its most seductive.
3. Cookies baking in the oven
Cookies are off the list unless you’re going to offer them to your viewers. Unless you’re actually going to feed your prospective buyers, then don’t tempt them with delicious smells. They’ll only leave hungry and frustrated, craving baked goods.
4. Setting the table for a fancy meal
Don’t make viewers jealous when they see the fancy meal they don’t get to have. More cruel food temptation. Don’t leave people feeling rather inadequate about their own lack of table laying skills. Martha Stewart doesn’t need to approve, as long as your home looks its authentic best. Multiple courses shouldn’t be on the menu.
5. Reading glasses open on a book
Glasses on an open book is a classic cliche. The owner is cosmopolitan and chic, and you can be too. This trick suggests that our busy lives might just stand still in the confines of this particular home, giving you ample time to read away the hours. We can dream.
6. Saucepans out for a ‘gourmet’ feel
Saucepans on the stove. Living here, the promise of delicious meals are within your reach. But it’s a fine line between a kitchen that looks like it does a great job feeding the inhabitants, and the set of a cooking show.
7. Randomly thrown ‘throw’
Bonus points for pet posing. Yes they’re called ‘throws’, but a randomly thrown blanket across the ottoman or bed is a no no. It just landed like that did it? Really? Bonus points for posing pets.
8. Perfectly placed pillows
Cushions that are just a little too perfectly-placed. You want things looking comfy, but perfect pillows posed on their points (particularly a pile of them), risks being a little too perfect. Spot those glasses again!
9. Overusing supermarket scents and air fresheners
Potential buyers will wonder what you’re trying to cover up with all that air freshener. Don’t assault the senses, especially with cheap and pungent deoderisers. A home should smell nice if you’re trying to sell it, but it should also smell normal. Again, it’s all about balance.
While you should style your home for sale and create a home that’s inviting and paints the picture of the lifestyle it can offer a buyer, don’t detract from the property’s presentation.
The cringeworthy clichés listed above are a good guide of what to avoid.