DO NOT GET FOOLED BY HOME STAGING
You have begun your home search but make sure you do not get fooled by home staging. In today’s world, home staging has even become a career, there is a whole set of rules that sellers follow in order to present their home in the best possible way. Aside from highlighting the best features homeowners use this method to hide all the defects as well. Therefore, make sure you know how to spot a staged property before you sign off on the purchase.
In the early days one was advised to clean their home and repair the minor fixtures prior to open house. However, today some sellers have gone to the extreme; from hiring storage units to stash their junk, to appointing professional ‘home stagers’ who may even bring their own furniture pieces that better fit the space. If the home looks fairly small on the outside but you are amazed with all the space on the inside. It could be that the house has an amazing floor plan or it could be an illusion of staging. Staging often includes using smaller furniture to make the rooms look much larger. Compare it with the furniture you have, if there is a huge difference then consider if the furniture pieces presented will work for you. Do not forget to look at other key features, although the carpets look amazing consider the floor beneath. Those beautiful carpets that go really well with the furniture pieces and the entire color scheme could be hiding damaged parts of the floor. Another prop of staging is the curtains. Often sellers will put a little more effort on the curtains to hide the rotting sills and other window flaws. Next, take a careful look at the walls. It is often the case that a cheap paint job is in fact hiding cracks and other shortcomings. Consider the layout and look where the outlets have been placed. Condos that do not have a TV wall will often stage the laptop computer or TV to look perfect, and ready for use across from the couch away from the window. This looks like a great spot however there is no power source in sight. Other staging signs to look out for include: Barcelona chairs, fake beds, the cowhide rug, silk flowers, and fake apples that are a perfect shade of green. If you do notice the following items then consider examining the home a bit more thoroughly as other not so evident staging props are probably utilized to hide bigger defects.
Always remember that once the house is sold the stage is taken away and you are left with the floor plan, square footage, and the quality of neighborhood. A realtor is obligated to let you know of any defects but that is only if they themselves are aware of them that is why it is important to do the homework yourself.