stageYou may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves. In doing so, they make mistakes that can sidetrack the sale. Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to professional home stagers:

  • Don’t get too personal: Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. Don’t create a look that appeals to just you.
  • Avoid dark colors: Choose neutral or warm colors. A few coats of fresh paint will make a huge difference.
  • Take advantage of natural light: Blocking off light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale—especially if the home has attractive views.
  • Don’t think more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room. Furniture should define the purpose of the room.
  • Don’t leave pets at home: Remove all traces of animals from the house. Make sure Fido is away during showings. A pet could kill a sale before a potential buyer even steps into the house.
  • Don’t neglect the outside: Outside is as important as the inside. Add flowers, mow the lawn, tidy up and add kid-friendly accessories.
  • Don’t just deal with “main” rooms: Don’t forget the garage, basement and closets.
  • Don’t forget fixtures: It’s important that all lights are burning and all fixtures are working.

Staging a home means showcasing features, not concealing flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in its best light.



Join Robert Abbott, the owner of Abbott & Caserta Realtors, each week for his video tutorials designed to help answer your questions about buying and selling a home.

This week’s video answers the question, “What is home staging?”

Abbott & Caserta Realtors has two convenient locations – Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ and Wyckoff, NJ. Abbott & Caserta Realtors specializes in Bergen County real estate and their agents can help you stage your home to sell.



Excerpted from trulia.com

Today, homes don’t sell themselves. To win the battle for buyer attention and bring in the best offers, you have to play an active role in marketing your home. If you’re serious about selling for top-dollar and in record time, follow these sure-fire tips for staging successfully:


1. Check out the competition

The first step to selling success is to find out what you’re up against. Before and during the selling process, visit other property open houses to see how your home measures up.

When you’re out, here are a few things to note
• Property condition
• Highlighted features
• Move-in readiness
• Staging tactics that will work for you

2. Create a staging plan.

Great staging requires that you cover your bases like a pro every time. Whether you hire a professional stager or work with your agent to do-it-yourself, put together a staging plan complete with a checklist and photos of what your home looks like when it’s ready to show.

3. Get (and follow) professional advice.

If you’re serious about selling you need to enlist objective professional help. Ask your agent about his or her staging experience or if he or she has a professional stager or designer to recommend.

4. Eliminate the excess. 

Before you head out to buy new accessories to “spruce up your home,” focus first on items you can remove that will enhance a buyer’s experience. The best signs of things you should eliminate are the things that you aren’t using and those you’re planning to get rid of before you move. Data has shown that homes prepared by professional stagers sell for more. Getting an unbiased review from someone who sees your property “as a product” can be invaluable.

5. Pre-pack personal items.

Depersonalizing and decluttering are the most critical steps of staging, but they can be a challenge. To make it easier, start by pre-packing and storing away the items you won’t need until after the move and anything personal (like family photos) that might prevent buyers from envisioning the home as their own.

6. Clear off the counter space.

When it comes to the tops of your tables and counters, less is more. Clear off your counter spaces except for the occasional decorative or functional pieces (clocks or vases of flowers). Remember, your goal is to help buyers see themselves in a home and they can’t do that with your stuff in the way.

7. Clean inside and out.

Everyone thinks they know what “clean” means when it comes to their own home. Here’s where an agent or professional stager can be super helpful. Invite them in to get an outsiders opinion on how to make the nooks and crannies you’ve forgotten about glisten. Also remember, the best selling homes tend to have garages, basements, side yards, and other outdoor spaces that are just as immaculate as their kitchens, bathrooms and master bedrooms.

8. Dive into the trim and details early.

It’s tempting, when staging, to do the big jobs – painting walls, polishing floors, moving furniture – and to run out of steam and cash before the little details get handled.

Some of the least expensive home staging projects can carry the most powerful buyer-impressing payload. Here are few details to tackle to make your listing standout

• Clean or paint baseboards and other trim
• Ensure locks, doors, and drawers work properly
• Paint or replace outdoor accents like house
numbers or mailboxes

9. Shoot sample photos.

The first contact most house hunters have with your property is from a computer or mobile phone. Making sure your property presents well there is a big step toward sold. Before you show off your home to the public, take a look at it from their view. Use your camera or Smartphone to take sample photos and view them on your computer.

10. Be brutally honest with yourself.

When you think you’re done preparing your home, think again. It’s not overkill to go out on a Sunday afternoon, walk through a few Open Houses, get back in the car and drive home to walk through it like a buyer would. Ask yourself: What can you edit or declutter? What is distracting? What stops a buyer from seeing the possibilities for their own family here? If all else fails, take your agent with you. Arm him or her with a packet of post-it notes and give them free rein to stick one on anything that should be removed before showing the home. Then get that stuff out of there!