Home Staging Cover-Up! Watching For Hidden Defects When Buying a Home
When you buy a home, it is probably cleverly staged to show the home's best features. This is often a way for the seller to help you consider the space as your own. However, some sellers may use staging to hide or minimize design flaws or serious defects with the house.
Watch out for these four home staging traps, before you end up in a home that is not all you thought it would be.
1. Making Rooms Appear Bigger
There are many ways to stage a room to make it appear & feel larger. For example, exchanging a traditional queen-size bed for a full or even a twin. Switching out regular couches for a couple of love seats and a small table also increases the available space in a room. The seller may put larger curtains over windows to make it seem from the inside that the window is larger.
Unfortunately, none of this is practical for you unless you plan to buy all new furniture for the home. When you visit a home, be sure to carefully review the floor plan, and a printed version with measurements would be ideal. This way you'll can get a better idea for how your belongings will fit in the space.
2. Hiding Serious Problems
On occasion, a person selling a home may try to use staging to conceal problems with the home. For example, they may hang a large picture or even put up wallpaper to hide evidence of mold growing in the walls. This type of cover-up is more likely to happen when a seller stages their own home.
Professional home staging consultants know that staging is not meant to obscure considerable faults in the structure or property, and that knowingly hiding defects from home buyers can have legal consequences for the seller. As a buyer, you should follow your instincts as you look through the home. Do not rely on the home inspection to pick up on it, because the home inspection only covers certain aspects of the property.
If it appears that the home is hiding something, talk to your agent about your concerns before making an offer.
3. Bold Distractions
The goal of staging is to help you better envision yourself in the home, and most obviously... to hopefully produce a quicker sale as a result. Colors and styles are generally selected to be representative of what you might put in the home if you buy it. Staging consultants often shy away from bright colors and unusual styles because they distract the buyer from looking at the major features of the home.
As a result, if the design in a particular room is bold or brash, consider asking yourself if the seller is trying to distract you. Look for potential problems such as weathered or damaged flooring, small windows or poor lighting.
4. The Things You Cannot See
Although the staging is primarily focused on what you can see, you should remember that the seller might use all senses to create a feeling of home for buyers. Pay attention to your sense of smell, hearing and touch especially to look for possible defects and issues that need repair.
It is not uncommon to enter a home to the scent of cookies baking, or potpourri on the stove. However, overpowering scents may be covering up bad odors. The constant sound of music may obscure noisy neighbors or a loud highway nearby. Large fans blowing everywhere could indicate a ventilation problem. Take note of these observations as you have them.
Deciding on a home requires a lot of careful consideration, and you cannot always trust what you see. The seller is creating a sense of the home for you that may not always reflect absolute reality. By avoiding these home staging traps, you can better see the house for its true qualities.