By Roslyn Ashford
Last week, I conducted an informal survey of home stagers from the U.S. and Canada on what they are tired of seeing in homes to be staged. The responses were varied, but the issues below are the themes that bubbled to the top.
Stagers often meet with homeowners who are preparing their home for the market, and get to see a lot of homes. Here are a few "trigger" points from them, but I am sure there are more.
Dusty fake plants
There are a number of easy-to-grow houseplants widely available, from the virtually indestructible snake plant to the common philodendron. Some plants thrive well in low sun and others work well with lots of sun and less watering. Consequently, there is really no need for fake plants in real life. They end up being dust collectors.
Now we all know that not everyone is Felix Unger (of "The Odd Couple") neat. But if you know your house is on the market (hint: there is a real estate agent‘s lockbox on the outside of your front or side door), there is no need to leave your home with underwear on the floor, unmade beds and stacks of laundry on the coffee table. Would you be motivated to buy a home that shows like this? Why leave it like that for someone else?
Popcorn ceilings and wood paneling
What else can be said? These items instantly date your home. If only I had a magic wand to make all the bad ceilings and wood paneling go away.
Kitchen cabinets busting at the seams
You know all of those small plastic containers accumulated from the weekly trips to the deli at the grocery store? Yes, it is OK to recycle these, along with plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles. Or you could even take some along when you donate clothes to local shelters or food to local food banks.
Just know that you don’t have to keep each and every one that you receive. Because when a prospective buyer opens a cabinet door and they all fall out — not so cool.
Houses with too many pet items
Sellers: Not everyone loves your pets like you do. Not only should your pets be invisible during showings, but their accessories must go as well. That would be pet toys, food and water bowls, perches, dog beds, dog and/or cat carriers, large containers of food, etc. I’m not saying you have to toss it, but please find a way to store them out of the way for showings.
I am sure there are plenty more to add … fire away in the comments below!
Roslyn Ashford is a former corporate recruiter turned home stager, and a native Washingtonian (as in the District of Columbia). She hosts a biweekly tweet chat for home stagers and loves to stage small and vacant homes. Learn more about her growing company here or follow her on Twitter to keep up with the daily hilarity.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
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