Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

Hi, Welcome to Our School of Home Staging!

After a successful, 12+ years run as a home staging company in San Francisco Bay Area, STAGED4MORE is now an online school that focuses on home staging education for home stagers, home sellers and real estate agents.

Please take some time and check out all the free resources and tips available on our blog & podcast, as well as our courses selections.

8 Exterior Staging Mistakes That Can Cost You Sales

8 Exterior Staging Mistakes That Can Cost You Sales

8 Exterior Staging Mistakes Costing You Sales | Staged4more School of Home Staging.png

You read online that the most significant selling point in a home is the kitchen, followed closely by the bathrooms - so that’s what you focused on updating before putting your property on the market. Then, it sat and sat, unsold, with hardly a nibble from an interested buyer. What gives?

The truth is, most buyers won’t even dip a toe inside your front door to see your great kitchen and top-of-the-line bathrooms if they don’t like the looks from the curb. Here are the most grievous exterior mistakes that most home sellers still make, ruining their chances at fast, easy, profitable sales.

Dead Lawn

Buyers don’t see green when they see a dead lawn - literally. Crunchy, brown grass will cost any buyer a significant amount of money and time to revitalize, and in the meantime, they’ll have to entertain guests with a significant eyesore just outside their windows. 

If you do nothing else on this list, you need to bring your lawn back to life - no matter what it takes. It might be that your lawn is hibernating over the winter; if that’s true, you should toss some cold-season seed over the top to grow a lush lawn before spring. More likely, you will need to rip out the old lawn and lay new sod. 

Large Garden 

Buyers tend to like the look of large properties - but they aren’t big fans of large gardens. Expansive flower beds scream yard work, and unless you are selling to a wealthier-than-average buying market, your buyers probably don’t have the time, energy or money to keep up with such a sprawling garden. Not to mention costs for water is on the rise.

You can work with a local landscape architect on finding the best way to boost your curb appeal and save on the wallet. You can invest in perennial and native plans, which will be great all year around and eco-friendly.

Car in the Driveway

Ok, this may not cost you your sale, but the first impression is essential. When you park your car in the driveway, the buyers won’t be able to see the whole house.

The first time a buyer visits your home - and every time after that, for that matter - they like to imagine that they are pulling into their own home. However, it’s nearly impossible to keep up that illusion when there is someone else’s car in the driveway.

This is an easy fix: Whenever you have a showing, relocate any vehicles in the driveway to somewhere else in your neighborhood.


 As is true with cars, so is true with clutter. You shouldn’t leave your shoes, your kids’ toys or any other personal stuff lying around in the front yard; this also ruins the buyer’s experience of picturing themselves living in your home. Make sure everyone knows to hide his or her belongings in storage spaces before buyers come to visit.

Bad Paint Job

There are two forms of the bad exterior paint job: One is cracked, messy or poorly executed; the other is a hideous color. Both are equally distasteful to buyers, who only see the cost of repairing or covering up what you did. This is a relatively inexpensive fix, so you should cough up the cash to have your home repainted professionally and in a neutral tone, like ivory, taupe or gray.

Personal Decor 

You might love the pink flamingoes on your lawn, the sign on your door with your last name or even the sidewalk chalk drawings your kids provide every weekend, but buyers don’t. They see this stuff not as décor but as evidence that someone else - not them - owns this house. You should strive to depersonalize the exterior space as much as possible as if your house were a picture in a magazine.

Outdated Fixtures

The sconces around your front door were the height of fashion - in 2002. Style changes and your home should look as close to on-trend for the current year as you can make it. If you aren’t certain what seems dated on your home’s exterior, you can read about fixture trends that are going out of style online and make changes accordingly.

Mean Neighbors

Last but not least, you want to beware of neighbors who might kill your sale as soon as buyers step out of their car. Even if your curb appeal is perfection, a grumpy neighbor who shouts at buyers or insults you or your home will certainly drive people away. Just as bad are neighbors who don’t look after their own yards because they indicate that the neighborhood isn’t as good as buyers might hope. If you feel safe doing so, you should talk to your neighbors about your home sale - informing them that if your house sells for a high amount, theirs will too.

Contributor’s Bio: Tiffany, a writer for, enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With over four years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

What do you think of these eight home staging mistakes? Do you have anything to add? Tell us in the Comment section below.

Market Less and Make MORE Money

Market Less and Make MORE Money

Staged Home Tour: $2.2 Million Tuscan Style Luxury Arizona Home

Staged Home Tour: $2.2 Million Tuscan Style Luxury Arizona Home