When done right, staging is an art that not only shows off a home’s best features but also inspires buyers to make a solid offer. Additionally, it can result in a quicker sale. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 39 percent of sellers’ agents noted that staging significantly reduced the amount of time a home remained on the market.
But when staging efforts go awry, the results range from comical to cringe-worthy.
Take a look at some of biggest home-staging fails out there. I hope you can laugh a little and learn what not to do when preparing your home for showing prospective buyers.
1. Heads up
I’m guessing the home tour came to an abrupt end after bumping into this big guy. Taxidermy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea to begin with, but leaving this buck’s head in the middle of the room feels wrong on so many levels.
2. Combo gym and masterbath
While most exercise enthusiasts can’t wait to hit the shower after a workout, keeping the equipment beside the tub is a bit much. While some people might not think this is a fail, I’d agree that, Yes, this bathroom is spacious, but is it roomy enough to double as a home gym? I don’t think so.
3. Dinner for one
When a home is unoccupied, there’s always the temptation to add a little something that helps buyers envision themselves in the space. But one lonely lawn chair? Makes me think the real estate agent held an open house that no one attended. In fact, this sad visual conjures up images of solo TV dinners and is enough to make some would-be buyers bolt.
4. Dangerous playroom
Having a downstairs area where kids can play is definitely a plus. Unfortunately, that’s not what we have here — no matter how well intentioned this little set-up might be. How many times have the kids banged their heads against that pipe? Seeing the room arranged this way may actually make buyers think, “Hmm, too bad this basement isn’t finished.” And there goes your sale.
5. Lady in red
One word: Creepy.
6. Birds of a feather
A jacuzzi paired with champagne could be enough to tempt a buyer. But seeing a stuffed flock of birds surrounding the hot tub might make some people want to fly the coop. While homeowners are often proud of their collections, removing personal items that may not match everyone’s taste is always a good idea.
7. Whole lotta litter
When it comes to staging an unfinished basement, the “less is more” rule definitely applies, especially if the default decor involves feline excrement. Enough said.
8. A safari crime scene
An aerial view of this zebra is enough to break any animal lover’s heart. If a family with young children pays a visit, however, this may be the cautionary tale they need to convince kids not to fool around on the stairs. Grown-ups too may think twice before leaning over those railings.
9. Sadder than a bowl of plastic fruit
Pasta is typically a crowd-pleaser but not when it’s presented this way. It may be preferable to leave the countertops bare rather than resort to a strainer full of dried spaghetti. It’s just not that appetizing.
10. Mirror, mirror on the wall
Sometimes you’re in such a rush to get a home in tip-top shape, you forget to remove the items you’ve purchased to spruce the place up from their original packaging. In this case, the cardboard looks like a frame, so they almost got away with it.
11. Barren backyard
That sad little table and plastic chairs don’t exactly make you think about hosting lavish barbecues in your new backyard. This is another instance where placing the wrong items in a space could be worse than leaving it empty. Trust in the power of the buyers’ imaginations.
12. Going a little too green
Adding plants to a home brings the outdoors in and offers a nice pop of color. But putting them on the floor in the middle of the room seems like a good way to trip an unsuspecting prospect. Also, overloading a space with greenery can distract from some of the room’s nicest features — like that built-in bookcase.
If you’re preparing a home for a showing, remember to declutter. And declutter again. And stay away from the creepy mannequins.