Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

How Not To Stage Your Home For Resale


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
6 Comments » | Published in General  |  6 Comments

I’m addicted to looking through real estate  on sites like Trulia and Zillow; I fantasize about high rise living in Chicago or a beach house on Martha’s Vineyard and cruise the ads when I need to take a break from work. Sometimes the pictures shock me. Did these people realize pictures to try and sell their homes were going to be taken that day? Could they have maybe made the bed? Here’s one that really cracked me up today. It’s a nice place, it looks fairly clean, it’s not cheap, but it’s very clear that a dude or dudes live here. Dudes that were likely in a fraternity.

Nice open living room, but the fact that a Foosball table is a focal point tips me off that Joey and Chandler may live here.

This kitchen is acceptable and clean. However, if you’re trying to sell your home, clear your counters. You may leave a teapot and a wine rack out, but I don’t want to see your dishrack (this tells a potential buyer that dishwasher may not work so great), your clutter, and I can’t smell the kitchen from the picture, so go ahead and put the Fabreeze away. By seeing it, I’m already thinking that your kitchen may very well stink.

OK, where to start? The dead plant is just bad feng shui. Make your bed. Place your occasional chair in a place that makes sense instead of the middle of the room. Put your clothing and that weird exercise contraption in the closet. Put the TV on a table or stand instead of directly on the carpet. Put the creepy poster in the recycling bin. This room belongs to Patrick Bateman’s messier brother.

Again, throwing your comforter over your rumpled sheets is not making the bed. Hang your jacket up. Put your shoes away. Clear that odd console. Don’t have wires hanging down from lamps. You literally could have put all the clutter behind where the photographer is standing for five minutes and this room could have looked clean and normal.

Finally, these guys do get points for putting the lid down, my number one bathroom shot pet-peeve. However, put your personal toiletries away. I don’t want to see a loofah hanging in the shower, the fact that the bottles are on the shower floor tells me that there is not a handy niche in there and I too will have to bend down to get my shampoo or have one of those stupid faucet hangers that never works right. I’m glad that the owner clearly has good hygiene, but the clutter is distracting.

Again, this place wasn’t exactly ready for an episode of Hoarders, it just needed a housekeeper and a home stager. What are your biggest home staging pet peeves?

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!


Filed under General  |  6 Comments


  1. Chimney Sweep Atlanta says:

    March 24th, 2013 at 8:49 pm (#)

    I agree with you.
    Well put.
    Thanks Becky.

  2. Eric says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 6:47 am (#)

    My biggest poet peeve is people who think they have to tell everyone else how to do things.

  3. Becky says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 8:25 am (#)

    @Eric, fair enough.

  4. brushytophouse says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 9:06 am (#)

    I don’t know if Eric is one of the “dudes” trying to sell this apartment, but if so, he should thank Becky for her free advice and then follow it.

  5. Carol Y says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 5:14 pm (#)

    Dirt & dust! If I can see it in the photo, I can only imagine how bad it is in reality. Clutter gets to me too – if your house is for sale, try packing some of the nick-nacks.

  6. Jane says:

    April 8th, 2013 at 5:52 am (#)

    Hi Becky!
    You made some very good points there. I organize clearing of spaces as a job and always try and suggests things like these to people who want to sell their houses. A good first impression can be a deal-breaker when selling your home. Clutter (and dirt!) can obscure all the good points about a place.
    I think rooms should be kept as neutral as possible when taking these pictures so that they look bigger and the buyer is not influenced by a style they might not like. My personal pet-peeve is framed pictures of the current owners hanging everywhere; the buyer needs to be able to picture the house as their own and seeing pictures of strangers on every wall won’t help.

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