Home Staging Tip-Can Your Home Be Too Neutral?

Home Stager

Home Staging Tip-Can Your Home Be Too Neutral?

By now, home sellers know the importance of making sure that potential buyers will be able to see the liveability of their homes. Buyers need to see the space. This is why agents and stagers suggest that owners edit what they have.


Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400  wrote an excellent post about “looking for the personality in your home search.”  It’s so important that besides allowing your buyers to see the space, we let them FEEL your home.


Whenever I go into a home, whether it’s to purchase, stage, or just any home, I always ask myself could I live here?”

(I did it just the other day…I viewed a multi-million dollar property and nice as it was…the answer was “NO.”)


Trust me…buyers are asking that when they view your home. 


Here are some tips for making sure that your home’s personality comes through…


True Story-I consulted on a home that was in impeccable condition, in a great location, and well priced. You couldn’t ask for more. All I could think was “it’s ok.”


After spending more time there, I realized what it was. It had no “life.” There was not a single plant or flower in the home. Everything looked as if it had been lifted from a showroom and placed there. 


This helped to distract from the view of the roof of the adjacent building. 


You don’t want flowers whose scent may overpower the room (or cause your buyers to run out sneezing!)  



Your agent, friends, and stagers probably suggested you remove all of your photos. But what about artwork?  

Blank walls are well…blank. 


On one of the vacant homes I staged, the seller would not allow us to hang anything on his newly painted walls. 


We did the best we could however when it was completed, the listing agent said…”Something’s missing.”  She looked around and realized that there was no art or anything on the walls. 



You don’t want to overwhelm with every space covered but a well-placed picture or mirror adds a layer of personality your buyer will remember. 



Yes, someone told you to paint every wall white but all white walls can be a personality drainer. 

Stagers often add a pop of color with the pillows on the sofa or a bowl of apples or lemons on the kitchen counter. 




Whimsy almost always adds a smile to someone’s face. You can do this with a special garden planter, a  fun tea kettle on the stove, or a treasured souvenir on the wall. Remember…you don’t want to make this item the star of the show.


Neutral doesn’t mean bland or boring. It’s meant to serve as a backdrop for your house. Neutral doesn’t interfere with buyers seeing your space. 

Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

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Comments (43)

George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy I like the way you put it:

"besides allowing your buyers to see the space, we let them FEEL your home."

Jul 26, 2022 02:29 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Carol Williams and that's what many people think of when the word "staging" is mentioned. When homes have been vacant stagers were asked to bring in furniture and accessories. It's hard for anyone to visualize an empty space. 

Joan Cox I've toured homes like that when we were looking. It's hard to imagine living in it. 

Jul 26, 2022 02:31 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Bill Salvatore - East Valley neutral is good!  Bland is ok but it's hard on buyers. 

Grant Schneider Investors look at square feet, location, resale, and their ROI. Buyers want more. 

Jul 26, 2022 02:33 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Myrl Jeffcoat one wall behind the sofa in an otherwise bland room can help!!!

Very true Leanne Smith focusing on the selling points of a house can help to overcome other issues...not hiding them but redirecting the eyes of the buyer.

Jul 26, 2022 02:38 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Will Hamm that's the creative spirit in you. 

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty exactly!  There have been some I've walked into and I couldn't wait to begin editing...so much was everywhere   

Jul 26, 2022 02:40 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy,

As usual, you covered this topic well with expertise in this area.  I hope agents and sellers absorb what you posted.

Every home I list or bring a buyer to, I ask that question... Could I live here?  I try to envision myself in that home and ask myself what I would do differently.

Jul 26, 2022 02:58 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Bob "RealMan" Timm that is awfully kind of you to say!!! thank you. 


Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 it's one that all buyers should ask themselves. I do everytime I walk into a house. 

Jul 26, 2022 03:08 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Kathy I can't tell you how many homes I've seen this past 3 or 4 years that all look the same - boring with zero personality. Mostly all flips but honestly I always thought - why so sterile.  Bring it to life!   Excellent post!

Jul 26, 2022 04:44 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® we're on the same page!!! And thank you for your very kind words. 

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker I began feeling the same thing, even with staged holmes. The homes I saw had similar furnishings, perfectly placed. It's like you want to look at the room but you are afraid to touch it. 

Jul 26, 2022 04:53 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Yes and they seem 'chilly'!!  And need I say boring as  you know what!

Jul 26, 2022 04:58 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker I think that Sharon Tara and I talked about this. While the rooms looked good, everyone's photos all looked the same. 

Jul 26, 2022 05:42 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Totally!  Boring!

Jul 26, 2022 09:00 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Thank you George Souto  Our homes become very special to us, so when we're looking for one, it's important that we can see ourselves living there. 

Jul 26, 2022 05:51 PM
Gary J. Muccio, Associate Broker
Keller Williams of Central PA - Camp Hill, PA
Exceptional Customer Service!

Good morning, Kathy!

Excellent practical and easy tips!

So often buyers can't see past how a home is presented to them with all of the sellers belongings still in place. As agents, we must constantly remind them to evaluate the space and think about how they live their day-to-day lives and what's important to them regarding layout, function, flow, etc.

Paint color, flooring, etc. are easy changes that can make a world of difference to a home.

Thanks again for all your AR posts, and continued success to you!

Jul 27, 2022 05:49 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Great post! I love a clean look but do enjoy that unexpected item that really frames the room to give it some character.

Jul 27, 2022 06:53 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent tips Kathy! It is so important to give potential buyers something to remember...you never want the home to seem to bland or boring!

Jul 27, 2022 08:56 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


You made some excellent points, and some great suggestions for prevent a stage home from being boring and bland. I've seen some staged homes that were totally devoid of any character and interest, and while I wasn't the one deciding if I wanted to live there, my thoughts were "nope." Obviously buyers can bring their personalities to blank space but that first impression can really make a difference.


Jul 27, 2022 07:58 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Kathy, Thank you for addressing this issue. I remind clients that people are often searching on their phone which is a little screen. They will flip through pictures of neutral homes without appreciating what they have to offer. A pop of color, texture or interest can stop a buyer in their tracks.

Jul 28, 2022 06:14 AM
Susan Rupert
Kissinger Bigatel & Brower REALTORS - State College, PA

Kathy, thank you for sharing. Great information as always.  

Jul 28, 2022 08:29 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Absolutely.  I just had to fluff a very stark, but gorgeous home.  Plants and color make such a difference.  And the artwork.  

Jul 30, 2022 09:24 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Jul 30, 2022 09:25 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I’ve seen where the energies and the colors and all that don’t match very well and that’s where I come in, so it can definitely happen

Jul 30, 2022 10:57 PM