Home staging is a critical step of listing a home to display it in its best light. Overall, the main objective is to get potential buyers to easily picture themselves living in the space. We’ve put together a list of common home staging mistakes sellers make and how to avoid them.


Too many candles or air fresheners can overwhelm potential buyers. When walking through the house, if people see plug-in air fresheners, it can come off as a red flag indicating that you may be trying to cover up another smell. Instead, keep the house clean and open windows to let in some fresh air. For a welcoming and homey feel during an open house, try baking cookies the night before!


When staging a home, you may be tempted to put throw pillows and objects on every surface. Especially if it’s a smaller house, this can make the space feel cramped and overcrowded. Avoid using too many small objects and tchotchkes on surfaces such as coffee tables, countertops, shelves, and so on. Consider only using larger staging items where necessary and appropriate. Make the home feel comfortable and natural!


The last thing you want is for your rooms to be underlit. It’s hard for buyers to picture themselves in the space if they have to squint to see how much room there actually is. On top of that, dimly lit spaces can come off as dreary and uninviting. Natural light is the most preferred source but if that’s not available, try using lamps and other ambient lighting. For more tips on how to lighten up a dark room, check out our recent blog post on the topic.


Always consider the size of your space and what furniture works best to complement it. It should demonstrate the functionality of the area so that potential buyers can see the different possibilities in the space, but not so much that it’s overcrowded. Just because you prefer a certain style of oversized couch or table, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for the space.


Simply cleaning your house can go a very long way. Especially if the home is staged well, it will be much easier for buyers to notice dirt and grime. As an added bonus, cleaning can also help your home smell better overall–just try not to use overly offensive-smelling cleaning products. If you’re lacking the time and energy to clean, consider hiring a professional cleaning company.

“Sellers underestimate how important it is to clean the home. I’m not just talking about a surface clean but an actual deep clean. Vacuuming, washing floors and wiping down sinks and counters help but you really want to clean the items that get neglected over time, I always recommend that sellers hire a professional company to do a deep clean and get those forgotten areas like cleaning the baseboards, dusting all light fixtures, washing windows and window seals, cleaning the refrigerator, wiping down walls, cleaning appliances, etc. If a buyer walks into your home and notices the fan has not been dusted in 2 years, they will wonder what else has been neglected around the house and it could make them hesitant to buy. Sellers want their home to show in the best way possible, so spending a little money on a deep clean can go a long way.”
Lisa Lipari, DOBI Agent


When staging, leaving personal touches and pictures can hinder potential buyers from being able to picture themselves in the home. Try not to leave decor items that are overly personalized to your taste and definitely remove any photos of family, pets, and so on. With that in mind, you don’t want the house to be completely void of style. Pare down clutter but keep some staging items around such as lamps, plants, etc. to give your home an upscale and neutral feel.