5 signs of ‘overstaging’ real estate

De-personalizing, props can make listing unattractive

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You've probably seen it in a model home or a resale property that's been staged: It's the tray that rests oh-so-perfectly on a corner of the bed, atop a gently tousled chenille throw. The tray holds a bottle of champagne, a crystal wine glass, and maybe a rosebud in a tiny vase. Blah. This, some home stagers lament, is a staging cliché. In and of itself, that's not a crime, but it falls into a category of distractions that take buyers' attention away from a home's "Buy Me!" message, according to Craig Schiller, who owns Real Estaging in Park Ridge, Ill. Schiller said that, obviously, he favors staging -- the practice of bringing in or removing some furniture and accessories, etc., to give a for-sale property a certain "look" intended to make it appeal to buyers.But sometimes stagers overdo it, he said -- they either strip a home of its personality or add so many touches that homebuyers end up looking at the "stuff" rather than the house itself,...