These 3 common home staging myths are based on my experience staging and selling Montreal West Island homes. Please note that I am NOT an international expert on home staging and real estate, nor do I play one on TV...at least not yet LOL.
That being said, in the years that I have been staging and selling Montreal West Island homes, I have come across many homeowners who believed they knew how to stage their home. Many did have a good handle on how to prepare their home for sale.
Others...well, not so much. Some had spent considerable time and energy falling victim to 3 common home staging myths:
Myth #1: When in doubt, paint the walls white.
While this may sound like a good idea, in reality, there are hundreds of different whites to choose from. Pick the wrong one, and your home ends up looking antiseptic. Yes, I know, a clean home is good. But an antiseptic one turns people off.
Unless you have loads of big, beautiful works of art for a gallery-type feel, or someone who can choose a white just for your space, it's safer to go with a light beige. I know - light beige, how boring. But it is warm and neutral and rarely elicits a negative response.
And by the way, a gallon of light beige paint costs exactly the same as a gallon of white paint, so no excuses!
We suggested the homeowner paint - not white, but a nice soothing light grey. She also had this white duvet cover in storage.
Myth #2: Go crazy with the decluttering.
OK this one is tricky. I've been called in many times after homeowners had spent hours and hours decluttering their home because that's what they had learned during their HGTV marathon. In many cases, this is great. In other cases, not so much.
The thing is, you CAN go too far with decluttering, leaving your home devoid of any personality, charm or character whatsoever. Buyers are looking for homes that feel warm and welcoming. They are turned off by homes that look "cold."
Decluttered, but still some personality and life.
Myth 3: Banish all family photos.
Nope, I disagree. Surprised?
Family photos add a piece of you. They add life, character and warmth. They show that a real family, real people, lived here...happily. They show a lifestyle, and buyers are drawn to things that evoke a lifestyle that looks happy and content.
Buyers are also naturally curious -- they like to get a feel for the persons living there. Leave them a few cues and they're happy.
But not ALL family photos need to be displayed, and they shouldn't be all over the place. I tend to cluster family photos, for example on a wall, a dresser, a console table or an end table. Clustering makes an impact, but only for a moment, so that buyers are not continually distracted by you and your family every step of the way as they visit your home.
Common to all 3 of these myths is the premise that a home for sale should be devoid of the family that made that house their home. I disagree wholeheartedly. You and your family SHOULD be there, symbolically, but in tasteful measures.
It's like adding seasonings to your food: add none and the food is bland, too much spoils the dish, but a little goes a long way.
With home staging, we like to leave just enough spice in a home to give it flavour, without overwhelming a buyer's tastebuds.