Just about everyone is familiar with home staging. Home staging is successfully used by many realtors and is a great tool in helping to sell just about any type of home. However, what most people don’ t realize is that there are some sellers who utilize staging as a way to cover up the things they don’t want you to see. Here are a few home staging cover ups that when seen, should make you stop and pay attention. Not to what is right, but to what is wrong.
1. It seems like just about every home has at least one small room that the homeowner doesn’t quite know what to do with. If you see a small room that has small furniture in it, this generally means the seller is using small furniture to trick your eye and to make the room look bigger than it really is.
2. Many homeowners use scent as a nice way to make a good first impression of their home. However, some sellers use various scents to cover up or mask any lingering smells that may be in their home. If you come across a home with air fresheners, pay close attention to anything your nose might detect other than the air freshener. Do you smell pets or pet urine? Do you smell mold or mildew? Put your nose to the test.
3. Often times music is used to distract you from hearing a noise problem. When you hear music while viewing a home, you should turn off the music and listen. What do you hear? Does the neighbor have a dog that never stops barking? Do you hear an excessive amount of street noise? Are the airplanes flying overhead louder than you would expect? Do the neighbors fight all of the time?
4. If while touring a home you notice that all the blinds are closed or the window coverings are pulled, you should take a minute to open every window covering to see what might be hiding behind that curtain. This is something that most people don’t do. Not doing this one thing could cost you thousands of dollars if it isn’t discovered before you close on the home. It may only be a broken window pane. But it could be that all the window seals are broken and all of the windows are fogged so badly that you can’t see outside. Or it may be that the neighbor is a hoarder and their home is in complete disrepair or perhaps they have an auto mechanic shop in their back yard. Needless to say it’s very important to look through every window and check the view.
5. Never assume that behind every door is a reasonable space. You should open every door and cabinet as you tour the home. Sometimes closed doors are closed for a reason. Just think how you would feel if you moved in only to discover that none of the cabinets have shelves in them. Or that the pantry you so desperately need was only a few inches deep.
6. Area rugs are sometimes used to cover up carpet stains, a flaw in the flooring or some foundation cracks. You should lift up every area rug and inspect what may be hiding underneath.
7. Pay attention to each door of the home. Are any of the doors missing? Sometimes a seller will remove a door that doesn’t function properly. A door that doesn’t open and close like it should may be an indication of foundation problems. Or it may just be that the seller is trying to make the room look larger, etc.
8. Look behind all the pictures. Are the pictures covering up any holes in the walls?
9. Check all the countertops. Do you see any placemats or decor that could be an attempt at hiding a flaw?
10. Look around, do you see anything that could potentially be covering up a flaw in the home?
Now you are aware that staging is sometimes used as a cover up. You’re now better equipped to address any possible issues before you commit to buying a home. You should also talk to your realtor about assisting you in identifying any additional staging cover ups that weren’t covered here. Your realtor has multitudes of experience and can immediately spot a staging cover up that could cost you thousands of dollars if not caught before you actually purchase the home. Your realtor truly is your best defense when it comes to buying a good quality home.