10 Home Staging Mistakes That Could Cost You Renters

by Cora Gold | Updated: Mar 6, 2020

As a landlord, your homes and apartments have to appeal to renters one way or another. To stand out from the crowd, they have to be unique. Home staging is the best way to get people interested by filling a space with beautiful furniture and artwork. However, there's a lot more to it than that.

Here are 10 mistakes to avoid the next time you're staging your home.

1. Neglecting the Basics

Make sure your walls have fresh paint when home staging.

Before you even think about what couch works best in the family room, you'll need to get back to the basics. Give each area a fresh coat of paint. Neutrals tend to work well because you can build around them with more vibrant pieces. Fix that broken tile in the bathroom and patch up the cracks in the ceiling. 

Most renters want a move-in ready home. While this is interpreted differently by everyone, one fact remains the same — any signs of wear or tear is ill-advised.

2. Getting Personal

It's true that renters want to see themselves in a home. As they look around, they envision their family in that very space. In this sense, you may think it's a good idea to place family portraits throughout the house. However, doing so can lessen the rental's appeal. Remove these images, along with any religious objects. You can communicate that it's the ideal space for a family in other ways.

3. Poor Lighting

Make sure all rooms in your home are lighted well when home staging.

Inadequate lighting can make or break an apartment. Harsh, bright overheads are too much, while dark rooms are impossible to view. Pick LED bulbs that cast a warm glow. These lights will save you money and make each room look cozy and inviting. When it comes to fixtures and shades, there are tons to choose from that are stylish and on-trend this year. 

Related: How to Get Great Home Lighting

4. Being Too Conventional

When it comes to home staging, landlords often lean towards shades of beige and white. Today, though, it's time to break away from the mold. Renters are after spaces that speak to the overall appearance of the home.

Think about the type of space you're working with. Is it an apartment in the heart of the city or a craftsman in the suburbs? Play with different textures and materials to achieve the best look, and don't be afraid to step outside of the box.

5. Choosing the Wrong Colors

Large pops of color can turn potential renters off when home staging.

While a home is a place for expression, too much can turn potential renters away. To avoid such a reaction, pay attention to the colors you place throughout the rental during the home staging process. The best way to stage your home and appeal to many people is to go with neutrals.

Creamy whites, light grays and earthy greens may increase the overall value of your property. Rely on these hues in the space, then build around them with pops of color.

6. Leaving Clutter Behind

Try not to crowd rooms with useless items. Start small — in the master bedroom, use a bed, dresser and side tables. Add in a mirror for depth and a plush area rug for added comfort.

Place fun artwork on the walls and a few knick-knacks on each surface to take up space. However, don't crowd the room with extra chairs, heavy drapes or an ottoman. Leave room for renters to envision their items in the area.

7. Keeping Outdated Shades and Blinds

Avoid hanging old, outdated curtains when home staging.

Window treatments can make or break a room. Huge, bulky curtains with wild designs should be left out. Remember, neutrals are essential — go for beige tones, so everything looks clean and straightforward. Don't forget to wipe down blinds before you open them to ensure they look brand new. Renters seek out bright, open areas, so try to accomplish this as best you can.

8. Failing to Designate Space

An issue that many landlords encounter when home staging is how to designate space. Renters want to see clear cut visions of bedrooms, kitchens and dens. They don't want to walk into an area and not be able to figure out what it is. This issue is especially prominent in open-concept floor plans.

Take the time to arrange furniture in a way that controls the flow of the space. Focal points like large mirrors and statements rugs help to do this by breaking up each area.

9. Skipping Pictures

Make sure to include home staging photos in your online rental listings.

Let's face it – more and more, renters want to search for their next home online. You probably already have listings on the web, so don't forget to take before and after pictures. While people like to see a lived-in space, they also want to inspect the bare bones. This way, renters can see how the area can evolve. 

10. Neglecting Home Staging Altogether

Home staging may take a lot of time, but it's worth it in the end. Renters want to envision themselves in your house or apartment, meaning the use of space matters. At the very least, have a neat home, arrange furniture and place tasteful photos throughout the property. This effort will ensure people see the full picture.

When you want to list your next rental, put the work in to ensure you stage the space correctly. Before you know it, renters will be flocking to it!

Categories: Landlords

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