- Staging your home is an important part of selling it.
- Insider spoke to interior designer Dan Mazzarini about mistakes people make when staging.
- Showing off too much personality and clutter can distract buyers.
One of the trickiest aspects of selling your house is staging it.
When it’s being sold, a home needs to be set up to appeal to the widest buying audience possible, which may not be how you live in it.
Changing the aesthetic from a home personalized to you to a house that anyone would want to be in can be intimidating, even if you’re ready to move.
Dan Mazzarini, the creative director at BHDM Design and an expert in both interior design and home staging, spoke to Insider about the most common mistakes people make when staging their homes.
Don’t leave anything with words on it out
Although you want your space to feel welcoming for potential buyers, you don’t want it to feel too much like your home.
“Staging to sell is about cleaning up. It’s about a simplification, and it’s about putting away the personal,” Mazzarini told Insider. “While you want people to understand how they would live in a home, you don’t want them to necessarily focus on you and your personal style in the home.”
“You’re trying to create a pretty general canvas to attract as many people as possible because you want that top dollar,” he added.
So while you may love your custom pillows or prints, Mazzarini said they may be alienating to people considering buying your home.
“If you love your ‘live, laugh, love’ pillow, that’s the thing to take out,” Mazzarini said.
He went on to say you should also put away things like family photos, kids’ toys, and anything else that feels really personal before people come to see it.
“All those things have to come down because while it is your personal taste, it also reflects your personal values,” he said.
You don’t need to add much to the space, either
As you’re staging your home, you may think you need to buy a lot of decor to make your home appealing to buyers.
But according to Mazzarini, more isn’t more when staging your home.
“You don’t need 20 pillows on a sofa or a bed, even if that’s how you like to live,” he said.
The decor may become a distraction from the space, which is what you really want a potential buyer to focus on.
Mazzarini suggests thinking back to your favorite hotel rooms you’ve stayed in for inspiration when it comes to creating balanced decor.
“Make them a solid color or make them just a nice neutral,” Mazzarini said of decor like pillows. “All the novelty comes out and we want to refresh.”
In the same vein, Mazzarini recommends buying clean, white towels and bedding from an affordable place like Target or TJ Maxx to freshen up your bathrooms and bedrooms. But you don’t need to splurge on statement decor.
Leaving clutter out can be a problem
Similarly to personal items, you want to clear out any clutter that’s taking up too much room in your house.
For instance, Mazzarini recommends clearing off your kitchen counters for a showing, as having too much stuff on them can make your kitchen seem smaller or more chaotic.
Mazzarini said it’s OK to “leave out your cookie jar,” but you don’t need a mixer, a toaster, and tons of other small appliances, as the eye will be drawn to those pieces instead of the counters themselves.
“This is the time to clean it up, clean the surfaces, and make it look and smell great,” he added.
When it comes to home staging, the simpler you can make your space, the more likely it is to sell.