Don't go overboard with home staging

Real estate professionals should make sure home staging fits right into that sweet spot - where it looks great but it isn't too perfect.

The home staging process is extremely important for all real estate agents. This is the time when the current resident's belongings are rearranged, removed or replaced and the entire property is set up to attract more potential buyers.

Without a staged home, odds are it will sit on the market for longer, and could even fetch a lower closing price. In order to avoid this, real estate professionals should make sure staging fits right into that sweet spot - where it looks great but it isn't too perfect.

Shoot for a lived-in feeling
Even attractive, well-designed homes can feel lived in. This is a problem that many encounter when staging - they tend to go overboard and create something that looks like it came straight from a magazine. 

According to real estate broker Debbie Reynolds, a contributor to ActiveRain, a home can be a little too staged. When done right, it will help sell a property. When done wrong, it could actually backfire and drive people away. This is because the house will lack warmth and make visitors feel uncomfortable. 

Most importantly, buyers want to look at a home that feels inviting. It has to appear lived-in, but well maintained. Forgetting this crucial piece of the puzzle could lead to more problems than solutions.

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Tips to stage a home correctly
While home staging can go overboard, it is still an extremely valuable step for any real estate agent trying to sell a property. Therefore, these tips could be the perfect solution to prevent a house from getting stuck on the market.

For starters, all the clutter has to be removed, according to Barb Schwarz, of, in a blog post for the National Association of Realtors. Limiting the number of personal objects will allow potential buyers to move in their own stuff instead. The same goes for the kitchen countertops. Any appliances and gadgets that are never used should be stored, and the refrigerator should be cleared off of all magnets and knick-knacks.

Home staging applies to the outside as much as the inside, Schwarz explained. This means homeowners and real estate agents should take a tour around the property, and remove all trash, clutter and personal items. A clean home with great curb appeal will work wonders on a potential buyer. 

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