The faster your home sells, the better. Staging will make that happen because staging helps buyers respond favorably! 

When you DIY your home's staging you can reap the benefits that come with staging your own home. But you have to do it in an effective way if you are going to coax a generous purchase offer out of home buyers. I've noticed that there are four major failings homeowners make when they tackle the job themselves. I don't want you to make these mistakes.  

The decor is dated

Smart home staging can help your home look newer, even if you have not made major upgrades and remodels to keep up with changing styles. 

You may not have a trendy open floor plan, but you can still have a wall color that's consistent throughout the house to create a more modern, open feeling. You may not want to buy a new couch to replace the beat-up one in the family room, but you can purchase slipcovers to give it a fresh, new look. You may not want to replace that laminate counter in your bath, but you can add a trendy new faucet there. 

The bed in the above photo from Southern Living doesn't represent the latest style, but the textured side table and the distressed rug are both styles that are current now.   

Browse shelter magazines, department store displays, Instagram, and decor and online furniture sites to stay current and educate your eye about what accessories like table lamps, vases, artwork, rugs, and pillows reflect todays' decorating style. 

Newness is especially important if your home is likely to be on the radar of younger buyers and first-time homeowners. Everyone wants to move up the ladder socially, and being on-trend is one signifier of that.      

Making an effort to look current isn't difficult. Sometimes all it calls for is putting a few pieces of furniture in storage. 

Everything in your home on the market doesn't have to
 be new, but everything can't be old, either. Photo: Dwell 

The house has off odors

To make sure your home smells great, deep clean it. If this is too difficult or time-consuming for you, get quotes from some cleaning services. You may be surprised how low the cost can be. Professionals who clean for a living know how to be efficient and have the equipment and supplies to do a quick and thorough job. 

Remove anything that has any even slightly unpleasant scent. Invite over a friend who has a sensitive nose. The most common offensive odors are from pets, whether cats, dogs, or birds. Nicotine, mold or mildew, and cooking aromas are others. 

More and more of what we buy now comes scented with chemicals to make them seem cleaner or somehow "friendlier," But these scents are often offensive to chemically sensitive people. Other buyers may interpret an overly fragrant home as hiding problems like dampness, sickness, or embedded grime, so don't over-scent.  

Don't let your pets sabotage a profitable home sale.
Here are 14 ways to get rid of dog smells
 from various surfaces 
without harming anything.
Photo: TheHoundry      

The photos are poor

Your online listing is the new curb appeal. Your home's photos are the way to impress buyers enough to schedule a showing. 

Statistics show that listings with professional photographs sell 30% faster, and can list for $3,000 to 11,000 more than homes photographed by nonprofessionals.   

So, anyone who doesn't hire the services of a professional photographer when it's time to list is being shortsighted. If your listing agent will not pay for a real estate photographer, you should either find another agent or negotiate a way to share the cost. I guarantee it will pay for itself. What you pay a professional photographer will be less than your first price reduction. 

Photos should do more than just inform. They should flatter the property. I don't mean they should be dishonest. But crooked, poorly lighted, inaccurate colors, and other signs of amateurish photography work against your chances of even getting people to call their agent. 

The average home doesn't need 30 photos and drone photography to pique buyers' curiosity. One or two shots of each room and a few of the exterior are generally enough when accompanied by a listing that describes details like room measurements, special upgrades, and high-quality materials such as granite counters, composite decking, bamboo flooring, or maple cabinets. 

You're in denial 

As a seller, you can't adopt the attitude that if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for the next owner. Selling a home is like running a small business, and the customer (your buyer) is always right. I've blogged about the six types of sellers who are problems

Some Realtors suggest that as soon as your home's listing goes live, you take a vacay that first week. It will make it easier to show your home. And you will have earned the downtime. 

Stage your home, price it fairly, and then keep it clean and uncluttered. Be part of the team that sells your home -- your listing agent, other brokers, the photographer, your family, anyone you hire to do repairs, and even your neighbors. You never know who is going to spread the word that your beautiful home is for sale.  

Get the look, get the book

Part of your support team should be my home staging eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. You can download it right now -- it's a 155-page pdf -- and start increasing the value of your home today!