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Skolnick's Scoop / Staging a home for the market? Mistakes to avoid

Published 12:40 pm, Saturday, June 22, 2013
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Your home should reflect your personality and that of those that inhabit it. But that doesn't mean that everyone coming through the front door will like it.

What may be "charming" to a seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer.Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves, and in doing so, create greater mistakes that can actually sidetrack the sale of their homes.

Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to Professional Home Stagers magazine.

Getting too personal: Home staging is meant to create a neutral canvas that will appeal to the majority of buyers. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a model home look that will appeal to most everyone.

Using dark colors: If painting, you should choose a nice, neutral and warm color, such as beige or grey tones.

Not taking advantage of natural light: Buyers love natural light, so blocking off any light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale, especially if the home has attractive views.

Thinking that more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room and the other furniture in it. Remember that the purpose of furniture when selling a home is to define the purpose of the room and to show what will fit where.

Leaving pets at home: You need to remove all traces of animals from the house and make sure "Fido" or "Sunshine" is away during showings. Having a pet could kill a sale before someone even steps into a house.

Neglecting the outside: People care about the outside space just as much as the inside, so add flowers, make sure the lawn is mowed, the yard is tidy and add a few backyard accessories for the kids.

Only dealing with "main" rooms: People are quick to stage living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but don't forget to spruce up the garage, basement and closets, as well.

Forgetting fixtures: It's important to ensure all lights are burning with fresh bulbs, and all fixtures are working.

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

Linda Skolnick's "Skolnick's Scoop" appears every other Friday. She is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Riverside in Westport and can be reached by calling 203-246-0088 or by visiting www.GoAskLinda.com.