12 Home Staging Fails So Bad, You Have to See Them To Believe Them

October 24, 2018 // Tammy // No Comments //

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. Enjoy a laugh while learning what not to do when preparing to present a home to prospective buyers.

1. Heads up


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We’re 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. Yes, this bathroom is spacious, but is it roomy enough to double as a home gym? Not quite.

3. Dinner for one


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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 isn’t going to cut it. In fact, this sad visual conjures up images of solo TV dinners and is enough to make most would-be buyers bolt.

4. Dangerous playroom


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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. 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


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Looks like someone forgot to put away this beauty! Even if you’re selling your home during the Halloween season, most buyers find creepy dolls a little off-putting. Without this mannequin giving you the cold shoulder, this room would’ve been just fine.

6. Birds of a feather


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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, keep these silly mistakes in mind and avoid your own staging fail.

Thinking of Selling Your Beach Area Home?

March 25, 2017 // Tammy // No Comments //

Did you know that every 1% increase in interest rates reduces the number of potential buyers for your home by half?

It’s true – the higher the rate, the less buyers are able to borrow. So fewer people will qualify for the loan amount they need. Ultimately, this means that home prices will have to drop (which means less money in your pocket at the closing table!) So far, we haven’t seen it impact home prices in the area, so that’s good news.

Interest rates have already increased several times over the past several months – and the Feds are considering more hikes as the economy continues to thrive.

“When you combine higher mortgage rates with increasing home values, mortgage affordability starts to suffer, and buyers will have to spend more and more on their monthly payments,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell noted in a recent press release.

There’s good news, though – we’re still seeing rates between 3.5%-5% – which means a $300,000 mortgage loan is going to cost around $1,500/month.

If you’ve been thinking about selling, you’ve already lost some potential buyers – so it may not be wise to wait until the next increase.

As a matter of fact, home buying has increased recently as a result of the increases. Why? Because people who have been on the fence and haven’t moved forward on buying a home are acting now before the rates go up again. They’ve seen really low interest rates for the past several years and now they realize it’s time to act if they don’t want to miss the low interest rate opportunity.

If you’re planning to buy a new home when you sell the one you currently have, that’s another reason now is the time to act.

Complete the form below and we’ll prepare a Market Study letting you know how much your home could sell for in today’s market. You might be surprised how much the market has improved in the last couple of years. Please include information about any updates you’ve done (along with the year they were completed) so we can get a more accurate picture of how your home compares to others that have recently sold or that are currently on the market.

As a bonus – when we meet to discuss selling your home, you’ll receive a special “thank you” gift just for meeting with us:

8 Day/7 Night Resort Getaway – choose from 50+ popular destinations, including Hawaii, the Bahamas, several Caribbean destinations and many more.

Complete Bath Remodel for under $1,800

October 30, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Updating a bathroom is one of the best investments you can make in your home – whether you’re staying in it or selling it. This DIY couple was able to completely revamp their outdated bathroom for less than $1,800!

The Mortgage Process

October 8, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Looking to buy a new home? Before you start looking, get your mortgage financing in place (most sellers want to know the buyer has been pre-approved before accepting your offer).

Here’s what to expect:

Best DIY Bang for Your Buck

October 5, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Remember that DIY doesn’t mean you don’t need permits. Be sure to check with your city to determine which permits you need.

Quick and Budget Friendly DIY Fixes

October 3, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

How to Paint Like a Pro

September 19, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //



If you can’t view the videos – try opening the page in Internet Explorer

What she doesn’t talk about here is how to avoid paint “bleed” under the tape. With the textured walls and ceilings many of us have here in Florida, it’s difficult to get the tape tight enough (well, it is for me, anyway).

After you put tape along the edges – go over the tape and an inch of the wall with the color of the neighboring surface (i.e. ceiling white next to the ceiling, wall color of the touching wall, etc.)

By going over the tape, the ceiling color will bleed under the tape and form a seal – then, when you go over the wall with the new color, it won’t bleed under.

Happy Painting!!


The 4 Potentially Most Expensive Words in Remodeling

July 5, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Home Buyers and Sellers Profile – 2015

June 15, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //


5 Things To Do Before Selling A Home

May 23, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

When you’re thinking about selling a home, it’s tempting to say “let’s get it on the market fast.” But, acting too quickly could actually cost you a LOT of money.

As a real estate agent working with sellers, I provide specific recommendations on things they can do to make their home more appealing to buyers. The goal is to ensure that we can sell the house in a relatively short period of time – and at the highest possible price!

When we work together, I go through the home (inside and out) to look for ways to make it stand out to buyers. However, some things require more time and should be taken care of prior to meeting with me.

Here’s are the top 5 things to do first:

1. Evaluate The Home’s Curb Appeal

When an agent puts your house on the MLS system, the first photo will be the outside of the home (or it can be second if there’s a water view photo). The MLS system is what feeds popular home searching web sites like realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia – so this photo is really important! If the first photo doesn’t capture their attention, they may bypass your property and not even click-through to see the details and other photos.

It’s also the first impression from the street for those driving by (many buyers drive by before ever calling to make an appointment to see the house). It’s really easy to lose potential buyers before your agent even knows they exist.

Bottom line – making sure the outside of your home entices buyers enough that they want to see the inside is critical when selling a home.

2. De-Clutter and De-Personalize

OK – so you’re planning to move anyway, right? That means you’re going to be boxing things up and getting rid of things you no longer want.

Start that process before you list your home!

You want your house to be as free of clutter as possible, as well as free of everything that makes it “yours” – and that means removing knick-knacks, family photos, small appliances you rarely use and out-of-season clothing. Take everything off the refrigerator – including photos, family calendars, etc.

Bottom line – Selling a home requires de-cluttering and de-personalizing every room. The goal is to get buyers to envision themselves living in the home. They can’t do that if your “stuff” is everywhere reminding them that it’s your home.

3. Clean Out The Garage

Sure, living in Florida means not having a basement…which means there’s limited space for your things. But reminding buyers that the house has too little storage is the LAST message you want to send! After all, if your stuff won’t fit – neither will theirs.

Start by taking everything out of the garage (yes – that means everything that is not attached to the walls or floor!) Decide what you need to keep handy for the next couple of months; such as lawn and pool equipment, bicycles, tools and sports gear.

Everything else should be boxed up and put into storage. If you’ve built a storage platform that hangs from the ceiling – great! If not, consider renting a storage unit for a few months.

When putting things back into the garage – consider adding hanging brackets for things like rakes, bicycles and anything else you can keep off the floor.

Most importantly – make sure you have room to park the car (or two).

Bottom line – Many Floridians may be accustomed to leaving the car outside and using the garage for storage – but others (especially northerners who are relocating) expect to park vehicles in the garage.

4. Consider Major Updates

Here’s a real estate “truth”:

“You always pay to update the house. You either pay for it while you’re living in it, or you pay for it when you sell it.”

Few people want to buy a house with a 1970’s kitchen or a 1950’s bathroom – especially when they’re buying in the range of $400,000 and above.  Yes, even waterfront property!

Here’s another “truth”:

“Buyers estimate that the cost of updates and repairs to be a lot higher than they actually are – sometimes by twice as much.”

Buyers who are willing to do the updates themselves may relish the idea of “making the home their own” – but that luxury comes at a premium price for the seller. You may include a $20,000 price reduction in your Listing price to compensate for an outdated kitchen – but buyers will further drop the price by another $10,000 – $20,000!

Houses with outdated kitchens and bathrooms and flooring that needs to be replaced also sit on the market a lot longer than homes that are updated. The longer a house sits on the market – the lower the selling price.

Sure, someone may buy it – eventually – but it might be after multiple price drops, resulting in only “lowball” offers.

I’ve also talked to many sellers who decide they want to try to sell a house first. They figure, if it doesn’t sell, they can always pull it off the market, do the updates, then put it back on at a higher price.

But, here’s the reality – if a house has been listed for sale within the past year (and especially on those that failed to sell) – many lenders won’t issue a home-equity loan.

A good strategy (even if you don’t plan on doing the updates and instead want to “test the market”) is to take out an equity loan or line of credit now – before you put it on the market. With modern Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) loans – you only borrow if and when you decide to use it. Otherwise, you may not be able to make updates and you’ll be stuck accepting less than what you should.

Further – the home’s listing and sales history is available to everyone. If buyers see that a home was listed at $450,000 three months ago – and now it’s listed at $470,000 – it clouds their judgment. Often, they won’t take the time to find out WHY the price went up – they’ll just ignore the property and move on to the next one.

Bottom line – bite the bullet now. Take out a Home Equity Line of Credit before listing the home for sale. To get top dollar – go ahead and do as many major updates you can (kitchens, baths, roofing and flooring). Be sure to leave some money (line of credit) in reserves for things that crop up during the inspection.

5. Deep Clean and Refresh

You want real estate agents and buyers to get the best possible impression of your home.

In order to do that, every room should be sparkling clean (especially kitchens and bathrooms). This means doing things you may not think about often, such as dusting ceiling fans and baseboards.

When was the last time you painted the inside of the house?

Do the wall colors reflect your personal style?

For example, your daughter may like pink walls with Disney princess-themed murals – but few buyers will see that as a selling feature. Your goal is to appeal to the majority – not the select few.

To attract the most buyers, the walls and trim should be neutral colors. Very few buyers have the ability to envision their furniture in the house if the wall colors clash.

This holds true for carpeting as well. Carpet needs to be completely free of stains, odors and signs of wear. A few hundred spent on room-sized carpet remnants can increase your odds of getting an offer – and at a higher price.

Bottom line – Create a neutral palette that’s sparkling clean and odor-free.

Once you're ready to put your house on the market - give me a call. You'll be amazed at all the things I do DIFFERENTLY than other agents to get your home sold faster and at the highest possible price. 

Tammy Slater-Kendrick
cell: 727.888.3882