The process of selling a home can be a stressful endeavor. While staging your home to sell on your own may seem like a cost effective and simple solution, there are many elements that go into staging a home or a room. Issues like outdated decor, poor lighting, or bizarre art can be easily overlooked when you do it yourself. That’s why you might want to consider hiring a home staging professional. In the meantime, here are a few examples of how NOT to stage your home.

Failing to Declutter Your Home

Room cluttered with boxes, bags, and more

You might think the books on your shelves, the children’s toys in the corner, or the plants in your dining room look organized, but having too many items taking up space in your home can turn off potential buyers. The fewer items on display, the more open a room looks. Check out these great tips for how to declutter your home.

Hiding Everything in a Guest Room or Closet

Guest room cluttered with chairs

If you’re hurrying to straighten up your home before a showing, resist the temptation to throw furniture and boxes in a guest room or closet. Unlike when you have guests over, potential buyers will actually want to look through rooms and closets to get an idea of the space. Make sure your home is cleaned out and organized. If you need somewhere to stash your stuff, you can always rent a storage unit temporarily.


Covering Up Natural Light

Home Staging - Let Natural Light In
Using heavy drapes to cover windows are great when you need uninterrupted sleep, but not for home showings. Utilize natural light whenever possible to open up your space and make it bright and cheery.

Using Colors That Are Too Bright

Home Selling Tips - Use Neutral Colors

If your walls or cabinets are painted bright green or electric blue, switch to a soft neutral color like beige or gray instead. That’s not to say you can’t have a bit of personality on your walls. Pops of color or accent walls are being used more and more by home staging professionals. Just keep it within reason.

Letting Your Furniture Steal the Focus

Home Selling Tips - Remove the Clutter

A velvet jungle of tapestries and eccentric furniture might feel like home to you, but for potential buyers looking at your home, it’s a distraction. Don’t let your furniture take the attention away from the home itself. That’s what buyers are really there to see.

Using Props to “Enhance” a Room

Home Staging Tips - Remove Personal Items

Props are NOT a good way to improve your home staging strategy. As a general rule, putting a rabbit at the piano or a doll in the bathtub is just not okay. Please don’t leave creepy decorations in a room. The objective is to sell your home, not scare your buyers!

Leaving Out Quirky Collectibles

Selling A Home - Don't Leave Deer Heads

While your taxidermy collection may be a source of pride for you, it might not be so alluring for potential buyers. For home showing purposes, start packing those items up early.

Keeping Family Photos on Display

Selling TIps - Depersonalize Home

If your house is filled with photos of your family, take them down and move them to storage. A few on a dresser or an end table here and there can add a cozy feel to your home. But remember that potential buyers want to picture their family, not yours, in the home.

Using Lawn Furniture Anywhere Inside Your Home

Lawn furniture used as kitchen table

One way to make your home look questionable to potential buyers is to have lawn furniture inside. If you don’t have a kitchen table or living room chairs, consider renting furniture or picking up cheap, but good-looking furniture, from a thrift store. Whatever you choose to do, just don’t include lawn furniture.

Accidentally Capturing People or Pets in Photos

Mistakes in Real Estate Photos - Photo Bombers

If you decide to take photos of your home for a real estate website yourself instead of hiring a pro, make sure there aren’t people or pets in the background. That includes yourself.  It can distract from your home’s features. Be especially wary of mirrors—accidental mirror selfies are never a good thing.


As you get ready to put your home on the market, Extra Space Storage can provide a safe, convenient storage option!

All images are courtesy of Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos.