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Almost every Realtor I know tries their best to emphasize the importance of staging their Houston home for sale to their clients And many nod, smile and agree, and do make changes. They balk however, at any suggestion they need help, in the form of a Houston home stager and insist that they can do it all themselves. They have an eye for design, they say, or think their home looks fine as it is.

Some people do indeed have an eye for design, and some people do a reasonably good job of staging their home themselves. However, there are some small details – details that experienced real estate agents and home stagers have seen all too often – that can detract from the overall decor and can, dare I say it, cheapen the appearance of the home.

Here are seven of the most common Houston home staging mistakes that can actually ruin it’s overall appeal and perhaps even reduce the chances of the quick, asking price sale you are hoping for.

Don’t Get Your Proportions Wrong

In home staging, getting the proportions of every aspect of a room’s decor is far more important than many people realize. From hanging artwork too high, to clinging to what is really oversized – or tiny – furniture, if a potential buyer feels like they just walked into a scene from Alice in Wonderland they will only be disconcerted and confused, and won’t even have a chance to be impressed with the other elements of the room.

Don’t Choose Cheap and Colorful

If you choose to go with less expensive options on your finishes, furniture or home decor – which is fine, no one wants to spend too much on a home they are trying to sell – ensure you make neutral choices. Bold colors on inexpensive items can easily be spotted and stand out as cheap.

Don’t Balk At Clearing All the Clutter

Most homeowners now understand the need for general decluttering, but then they insist on leaving out certain home decor pieces because they believe they add something to the room. However, even carefully curated collections of decor pieces can be overwhelming. If a prospective buyer can’t put their bag down for a second on a table without accidentally knocking something over — you’ve got too much stuff. Less really is more. Put away those trinkets until it is time for you to head to your new home.

Don’t Take DIY Risks

Over the past several years HGTV has led many people to believe they are the next Bob Vila, or at least Martha Stewart. But if you’re not super handy, taking on a large project, like re-tiling your kitchen backsplash, can be overwhelming and can often end up looking horribly sloppy.

Opt to hire a professional instead and save your DIY prowess for smaller projects like hand-sewn pillows or updating finishes, things that can actually add some real positives to your home staging that you can still take some pride in completing yourself.

Don’t Go for Faux Flowers

Although there are such things as beautiful faux flowers that do look tasteful, finding them can be difficult and often they require quite a hefty investment. Instead of choosing the cheap and not so cheerful option, – ie: those two for a dollar ‘roses’ from the craft store – opt for fresh flowers instead. Choose something that is inexpensive by all means, but ensure the blooms are high impact.

Don’t Kill the Flow

Some people choose to call it Feng Shui but when it comes to your home, and home staging, making sure everything flows well is really just common sense. If a would-be homebuyer ends up scraping a knee trying to get by your couch it’s either too big or inappropriately placed. Play with your layout or perhaps consider embodying the less is more philosophy by removing a few items.

Don’t Discount Getting Professional Help

The number of statistics available that continue to prove the value of professional home staging are increasing all the time, as more and more people make use of it. For example, according to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which are professionally staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged , or self staged counterparts. And the longer a home stays on the market the more likely it is that you will have to make a price reduction to sell it all.

Professional Houston homestagers are more than design and decor experts. They have unique insights into the psychology of home decor, and about just will, and will not, appeal to the largest cross section of potential buyers possible.

The investment in professional Houston home staging is not one that you will regret making – ever – but you may regret trying to go it alone, even if that seems to ‘save you a few bucks’. The fact is that it really won’t, and it may in fact cost you thousands if you have to drop your price.