Home Staging Gone Bad

I scheduled to show a house to my buyers. The Listing Agent mentioned that the house had been staged. With so many vacant homes on the market today it's nice to see one that is furnished and decorated nicely. It gives the buyers an idea of how they can utilize the space.

Upon entering this house, we noticed that there was an odor... my buyers remarked that it smelled like food. We walked into the main portion of the house and noticed that the house was jammed packed with furniture. In the dining alcove area, instead of a nice dining table, they put a full living room set. At the back door leading to the outside patio, they put a full-size dining table... right in front of the doors. (odd... why would you put it there when this house has a specific dining area?) The house was filled with knick knacks and "things". As we walked from room to room, we spent more time commenting on the odd tchotchkes than looking at the house itself. The master bathroom had a 3 tier shelf unit above the toilet. The shelves were filled with large pillows. (pillows on shelves in the bathroom?) Then my buyer noticed that the toilet seat didn't fit the toilet. It was several inches shorter than the toilet. When we walked into the back bedroom, we noticed another odor... this time like mold or must. There was a very large stain on the carpet. We were almost done with our tour and I went to open the door leading to the garage. Once again, we were struck with yet another odor... this time the stench of bananas! Amongst many items left in the garage, there were two crates on the garage floor... one filled with bananas and one with onions. The house was so poorly staged, that we were actually glad to leave and head outside to get some fresh air.

The house has been on the market, with this current Agent, for 175 days and with cumulative days on the market (CDOM) of 522! I wonder if the Listing Agent has been to the house recently? Did she approve the staging?

Here are some simple tips for staging:

Clean and get rid of clutter... in every room! Make sure the furniture fits the room and is not oversized Clean the carpeting. Buyers do not want to see large stains in the carpeting Make sure the house smells nice. Put scented candles or some air fresheners around the house. Some scents that can help to sell a home are cinnamon, citrus, hint of mint, baked goods, vanilla... etc Do not decorate with personal items. Remove any personal photos or religious or political items that the buyer would not be able to identify with or may offend the buyer Keep the colors neutral yet repaint carefully. You may want to spend $25 for a gallon of neutral-color paint to make a room more appealing. But remember to do a good job repainting. Buyers will notice a sloppy paint job. Dust and clean the baseboard moldings and walls. If you do not want to repaint, at least take the time to clean the moldings and walls. this does enhance the appeal of a house as it shows that the house is maintained well.

A house should be staged to get a quicker sale for top dollar. So if you are hiring a staging company, check their credentials and ask to see a portfolio of their work. Take the time to go to the house after it has been staged to see if they have done a good job.

For additional information, contact Diana Lisinski http://www.dianalisinski.com