If you've decided to sell your home, you probably already understand that staging your home will help you sell it more quickly while significantly increasing your chances of receiving a top dollar offer and that is what you want.  BUT, did you know that sometimes, when done incorrectly, your staging could have the opposite effect and might be preventing you from selling your home at all.  So take this time to learn what you should avoid when staging.

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First, let me say the home staging goes much deeper than the basics of cleaning, de-cluttering and decorating.  Think outside the box when considering staging.  Let's now look at some staging no-no's

1.  Forgetting About the Everyday Dirt
 You may have spent a lot of time deep cleaning every square inch of your home.  Now its spotless.  However, you may be forgetting the everyday dirt:  leaving your dirty dishes in the sink as you rush off to work/school, leaving dirty clothes on the floor, not rinsing the sink after shaving are just a few examples.  You never know when you will get a call for a buyer to come by and see the house, therefore, you need to keep it spotless at all times.

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2.  Ignoring Your Garage
Your garage is a huge part of your home.  In many cases sellers forget to clean, organize, straighten and freshen their garage.  HUGE Mistake!  Why spend all that time getting the house meticulously clean and staged only to leave the garage in a haphazard way?  Leave the garage with the appearance of being clean and organized so that the buyers can envision the benefit of their new garage.

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3.  Not Addressing Lingering Odors
Every home as an odor.  However, we become nose blind to our own home odors, but the buyers will smell them.  And not only that, they will intentionally be looking for odors that could indicate underlying issues.  Smells such as: years of cigarette smoke, lingering food odors, pet smells, and mold and mildew smells.  Now, this might mean you will have to call and hire a professional to address these issues, however, just think of the increased value you just added.

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4.  Using Staging To Cover Up Issues
This point is very important.  Staging should NEVER be used to cover up issues in  your home.  If you have holes in your sheetrock, fix it.  If you have a hole in the flooring, fix it.  And never remove doors that don't close in an attempt to hid structural problems.  It is imperative that you disclose any home issues on a seller's disclosure form, IF you don't want to be held liable later.

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5.  Forgetting To Stage The Not So Obvious Spaces
When staging a home, most people don't think about the hidden areas that aren't normally given much thought.  What areas?  You should always clean out and organize your cabinets, drawers, the pantry, linen closets, AND the refrigerator.  And while your at it, make sure all your indoor plants are alive and well, if they aren't, dispose of them immediately.

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One Last Mention
When using a professional stager it's best to trust what they are recommending for the staging of your home and remember that nothing they say is personal.  Staging is what they do for a living and not taking their advice could end up keeping you from receiving top dollar offers.