Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

As a professional home stager, I often see home owners and realtors make three home staging mistakes that can cost the home seller more time on the market and lower offers on their home sale. These home staging mistakes can be easily avoided!

Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Listing before staging the home

Home sellers often do not want to spend money on staging and list first, assuming they will stage it later if it does not sell.  In other cases, in a rush to get the house on the market, the staging happens after the home is listed.  Sometimes realtors tell their clients they do not need to stage the property.  Later, the home sellers contact me to stage it after it has been on the market for a while without receiving any offers.

Why is this a home staging mistake?

Buyers look for a house online before they ever visit it in person. If the original photos are not appealing, staging later and then updating the photos will not attract buyers that have previously viewed the listing. You have essentially lost that part of the market that could have been interested in your home sale. The longer the listing has been up, the more likely buyers are going to wonder what is wrong with the house or submit a lower offer, thinking the sellers may be getting desperate for a sale.

Staging after listing is better than not staging at all, but statistics show that the time on the market will be longer than if had been staged prior to listing. The longer a house is on the market, the more price reductions you will likely have, causing you to lose money on your bottom line as well as costing you money in mortgage payments, utilities etc.


Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Not using professional photos for the listing

Professional photos of a beautifully staged home are critical to attracting buyers and making your property outshine the competition so buyers will come to view the property in person. Then, they can make an emotional connection with the house, which is what causes them to make an offer! 

Home owners or realtors that post unprofessional photos online will not generate the same interest that professional photos will.

Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Altering the home staging

If you have paid for professional home staging, trust your stager!  Decorating a home for sale is very different than decorating it to live in. Home owners or realtors at times want to modify the staging by adding, removing or re-arranging things. Well-meaning as this may be, it can undo key aspects of the staging that the home stager had good reasons for doing.

Staging is not about the personal tastes of the home owner or realtor, which of course are all different. It is about appealing to the greatest number of buyers, making an emotional connection with the target market and highlighting key features of the home. 

As an example, I had a client who was concerned with my staging plan which included red sofas because they were not to their personal taste. We stayed with my plan which was meant to appeal to a younger target market. The house sold the first day on the market for full asking price.

Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Do it Right the First Time

Stage before listing, trust your home stager and do not modify the staging, and get professional photos to show off your beautiful house! Happy Selling!

Are you Ready to Sell Fast and for More?

Try one of my online home staging services below. Feel free to call if you have questions and would like to discuss what would be best for you.

For in person consultations or staging, call for a custom quote.

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Running a home based business, like a Bed and Breakfast or vacation rental? Increase your income and bookings and attract your ideal guests .2 hours. Add a website review.Learn More
Virtual Remodeling Service.Is your vacant home turning buyers off with its lackluster paint, flooring, or lighting? No time or budget to remodel? Try virtual remodeling (combined with our virtual staging services) for a fraction of the cost. I create a 3D rendering from your photo and measurements to show cost effective remodeling options that buyers will love!
Great if your space needs a lot of remodeling or updates that you choose to leave o the buyer. Help them see the possibilities. Learn More.
Virtual Staging Service. Vacant homes leaving your buyers cold? Staging too expensive? Try virtual staging for a fraction of the cost. I drop-in furniture, art, and accessories into your well-lit vacant room photo so buyers can visualize this home as their own!
Help buyers visualize the possibilities in a vacant space so they can visualize it as their future home. Learn More.

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Three Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

By Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.


  1. Mary Ann, This is all good advice, especially to do it right the first time.

  2. Such a great reminder – staging is worth every penny!!

  3. Great advice! Good staging is always a worthwhile investment! It is much easier if sellers begin to view their property as an investment they are looking for the best return on rather than as a home once they are ready to list.

    1. So true, and it is important to consider staging an investment rather than a “Cost”. Thanks Janet.

  4. Super smart advice Mary Ann! Why hire a professional stager and then mess that up! One of my favorite photos I have seen on wasting money is the burning money image….oh my, this could be used for many DIYers who after the fact come to us saying help!

    1. YES! It is a great image and yes I have seen a lot of DIY damage that needs fixing, including some I have done myself haha!

  5. Really great advice and a reminder how important staging can be to the successful sale of your home.

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