home staging mistakes

Five Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

5 Mistakes to Avoid; 5 Better Home Staging Tips

When it comes time to sell your home, you want to make it look as nice as possible.  You wouldn’t want to buy anything from the store in a dirty, distressed state, so why would anyone want to buy a home that’s similar?  The problem is that most people tend to glance over a lot of this part of the home buying and home selling process.  They tend to feel that the lived in look is what is going to be most common, so that’s how it should be viewed.

As a Realtor in Billings, I’m here to say that’s not the case!  The home should be staged to look as beautiful as possible.  So here are a few tips to help you get started, and remember: heed the advice of your real estate professional.  They have done this hundreds or thousands of times.

Home Staging Mistake #1 – Skipping Staging Completely

This mistake is made especially when the real estate market is hot.  Homes don’t sit long, so people believe that a minimal effort is necessary.  There are two factors at play here: yes, the home will likely sell quickly even if it’s not staged.  But it’s not going to sell for as much as it could have if it were staged properly.  Billings, Montana real estate is a hot market, but why settle for less when a little effort could get you thousands more?

Home Staging Mistake #2 – Packing Up too Much Stuff

People are pretty terrible at thinking abstractly.  So if you clear out the room completely, you might think that it looks big and spacious.  But you’re relying on the memories of when furniture was in the room, and it was properly organized.  Buyers don’t have those memories.  So what looks like a nice big room to you, looks like an unusable space to them.  Instead, clean out clutter and items that detract, keeping the room looking clean, livable, and beautiful.


Home Staging Mistake #3 – Displaying a Bedroom as an Office

Rooms are designed for a specific purpose.  You wouldn’t convert your kitchen into a game room, so why convert a bedroom into an office?  As with the last point, you have a different perspective than your buyer.  Suppose you have three bedrooms, and you have one displayed as an office.  Buyers looking for three bedrooms will see your house as a two bedroom home: not enough room for their needs.  Instead, display each room for its intended purpose.  Even if you use the bedroom as an office, convert it back to a bedroom for the duration of the sale.

Home Staging Mistake #4 – “Hiding” Clutter in the Closets

One of the biggest parts of staging your home is getting rid of the clutter.  We all have it; it’s the knick-knacks that we accumulate on our travels.  It’s the overstuffed closets because we have too many clothes.  It’s the mismatched throw pillows.  It’s the pile of books on the night stand.  Often what happens is people try to hide this clutter in the closets, cabinets, or under the bed.  When a buyer comes in and sees this, they see a space that isn’t big enough for their storage needs.  Your home is suddenly a lot smaller than they thought.  Instead, buy storage tubs (boxes will do), and pack up everything that’s non-essential.  Store it tidily in the garage (or rent a storage space for a couple of months).  You will be surprised at how much more comfortable the home is, and perhaps get rid of the clutter permanently.

Realtor in Billings; real estate billings montana

Home Staging Mistake #5 – Buying Staging Furniture and Accessories

Your old bedroom set is functional, but it may not look that nice.  So, you decide to upgrade and buy all new furnishings.  While you’re at it, artwork, accessories, other furniture, and more items are added to the list.  Two problems unfold here.  First, those items add up quickly!  You may not recoup the cost by selling your home for more.  Second, you may have to take them with you, and they may not fit in the new home.  Instead, upgrade only what needs upgraded.  Minimize out-of-pocket expenses.  Only buy what will fit nicely into your new home.  If other items are needed, see if you can borrow, or even rent, them.


Western Skies Real Estate Billings, Montana

Here at Western Skies, our goal is pair you the buyer with the perfect seller.  It’s also to pair you the seller with the perfect buyer.  We are driven by a passion to get you into the home that is right for you, and not to make the sale that is right for us.  So if you’re looking for the best Realtor in Billings, you’ve come to the right place!

Get in touch today, and we can answer your questions and get you started on your real estate journey.

House-Hunting for Pet Owners: Finding a New Home with Fido

This guest post comes to us from Cindy at ourdogfriends.org.

Remember Your Pet When Buying a New Home

Finding a new house to buy can be challenging for anyone, but pet owners often have additional hoops to jump through. Not only must you find a house that suits your lifestyle and falls within your budget, but you also need a home that can accommodate your dog — a nice yard, tough floors and even a pet-friendly neighborhood.

House Hunting in Billings, MT

So, what can you do to ensure your house-hunting project results in a win for you and your furry family? Here are a few tips on how you can ensure your family and pets are a priority in the home search.


Get a Realtor in Billings who understands your pets

New home for sale in BillingsBe sure to hire a pet-friendly real estate agent who truly understands and respects the kind of pet owner you are. Be sure they are up-to-date on your city and county pet ordinances, as well as the regulations for homeowners associations in the neighborhoods you’re hunting in. It’s important that your agent knows which neighborhoods are good for pets so that you aren’t searching in areas that would only waste your time or disappoint.

You’ll also want an agent who knows if the houses you’re looking at had previous pet owners. It may not seem like an important matter, but if the house and the pets weren’t well cared for, you could be purchasing a flea trap or worse.

Know your needs and wants — now and in the future

Real estate in BillingsYou know what your pets need now, but are you planning for the future? For instance, if your dog is a breed that might suffer from hip dysplasia, you may want to consider a one-story house or one that doesn’t have many stairs to the front and back door.

Will you bring home new pets eventually? If you plan on getting more than one dog — or currently have several — you may want to have open spaces where they can play, both inside and outside. According to HandicappedPets.com, slick hardwood floors might hinder play, and your pup’s paws might also give it extra wear and tear. Also consider how far away your new home is from work, in case you want to come home for lunchtime bathroom breaks.

Speaking of bathroom breaks, you may notice your dog reverting to puppy behaviors — like indoor accidents — when you move into a new space. For that reason, you should spend some time and be strategic about introducing your dog to your new home. Remember, consistency is key.

You’re buying more than a house — you’re buying into a neighborhood

Tour your potential new neighborhood to see if people are walking their dogs. Explore nearby shops and restaurants to see how many are pet-friendly. You can make your new place a home for your pet, but ConsumerAffairs.com notes that your new neighborhood is a different story. If you enjoy walking your dog, you’ll likely want an area with nice, clean sidewalks or a park with an off-leash area.

While you don’t necessarily need a big backyard, think about how Fido will feel all cooped up during the winter months when those nice long walks are no longer an option. A big back yard gives them plenty of room to run and play year-round.

Purchasing a new home comes with its own stressors, but when you add a pet into the mix, you can find a lot more to worry about. You’re a good pet owner; you want to find a home that your dog can thrive in, so keeping these tips in mind when you’re on the search will help the process go much more smoothly for you and your four-legged family members.