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Stagers. They set the “stage,” so to speak, for a home to appeal to the largest number of buyers in order to sell for the highest price in the shortest amount of time. But unless a home seller considers ALL of a stager’s advice about updating a home before it’s listed, sometimes the entire purpose of staging can backfire.

ApartmentTherapy’s Ashley Abrasion describes how the right furniture, decor, and layout can emphasize the parts of your home a future buyer might love. But on the flip side, staging can’t hide everything. If you’re curious about what a stager or Realtor might consider outdated — a turnoff — to potential buyers, Abramson names a few retro features they would prefer buyers not see.

The first are outdated window treatments. “In general, homes are more appealing when they feel spacious and bright, and certain window treatments can have the opposite effect,” says Abramson, who goes on to describe how stagers usually remove heavy fabrics, ties, fringed trim, and roller shades from windows, opting instead for light and airy curtains that open up the rooms.

Another is a roomful of pattern — like floral-print wallpaper. “Most people tend to see projects over potential, which means that floral-printed wallpaper in your bathroom or the quirky border you love might be a dealbreaker to someone who doesn’t share your exact taste,” says Abramson.

Wallpaper can be used in limited spaces, but when there is a pattern that repeats itself many times over, it’s a dealbreaker. Buyers picture themselves peeling it off for days on end and may pass on a home that represents imminent cash outlay and time. While a stager does his or her best to downplay the most obvious of wallpapers, it usually can’t be hidden from view. So if you’re about to list, consider stripping and painting or covering it over with something neutral.

Outdated cabinet hardware in kitchens and baths can date a home as well. Even hinges and pulls can make a home look like a throwback. In this case, however, the fix is an easy one. Simply update all the hardware with a modern, sleek version — a typically inexpensive project that can totally transform the look and feel of your home.

Homeowners of yesteryear liked wood on their walls. But today’s homebuyers shrink at the sight of wooden wall paneling. “It’s hard to make a home look modern, airy, and fresh when there’s dark wood on the walls, making a room or a home appear smaller and uninviting. Remove the wood paneling and if you can’t, a stager will probably recommend adding a fresh coat of white or cream paint to brighten the space.

And lastly, carpeted bathrooms make everyone cringe. It’s a trend that will no doubt never return, since buyers understand how carpeting collects bacteria, leading to mold. So if at all possible, take out the carpets in any bath area, replace it with vinyl flooring or tile, and use small bath mats on the floors instead.



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