These common faux pas can make or break the sale of your home. (Psst: Put the life-size portraits in storage!)

By Drew and Jonathan Scott
October 02, 2019

The moment you decide to put your home on the market, there is a seemingly endless amount of tasks to be taken care of. (Although we can personally attest that no matter how long your to-do list, everything will eventually get checked off.) One of the main priorities is staging your homebut that's easier said than done.

Credit: Getty Images

Over the years, we've seen homeowners make the same mistakes time and time again when setting up their space to be sold. This can result in a lower selling price and a longer time on the market, and those are two things nobody wants. Here are a few faux pas to avoid when staging your house to sell.

1. Don't get too personal.

You might have a beautiful family, but that doesn't mean you should show them off. It's important to not have too many personal pictures on display because potential buyers want to imagine their own family in the house. We actually had a woman on season 6 of Property Brothers: Buying and Selling who had painted a life-size photo of her husband (sans clothing) and hung it above the stairs. That's not going to sell your home. Instead, appeal to families by emphasizing design elements. For example, if you have custom built-in storage that can hide the kids' toys, show it off!

Credit: Dave Greer.

2. You probably missed a spot.

We've seen so many houses over the years that were just gross and dirty—it drives us nuts! Making sure your place is clean and decluttered is so important. If you spend $500 cleaning your house, you'll probably get $5,000 more when you sell it. (Yes, really—it's that dramatic!)

3. There's more than meets the eye.

When selling a house, we always make sure people are aware of all the invisible extras, like additional insulation or smart home technology, that have been added to make the house perfect for a family. A trick that we've done before is actually putting placards on the walls or on the features themselves if people can't immediately tell that something has been updated. It's something small that shows there is additional value in the home that you might not initially notice.

Credit: Dave Greer.

4. Go all-in (or not at all).

There's no point in staging if you just put one tiny table in the middle of the dining room or if you place one small chair in the living room. You either have to make it look so inviting that it looks like it's a space ready to live in, or save your money and don't do anything at all. You have to paint the picture for the buyer. If there's a special feature that's unique to the home that other houses in the area don't have, make sure you highlight that both in the photography in the listing and in your furniture arrangement. We've walked into houses where people have halfheartedly tried to stage, and it's just counter-productive. They've wasted their money and it's not going to help sell the place.

Just remember: When you're staging, the idea is to make somebody fall in love with the space and picture their family in the home.

As told to Jennifer Aldrich.


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